Whether it’s fighting degenerative brain diseases or providing assistance to those displaced by natural disasters, sports can play a major role in helping those in need.
A little over three months ago, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. The 155 mile-per-hour winds and ferocious rain completely ravaged the island and left three million residents without power, one million without water, and completely wrecked tens of thousands of homes.
“When that roof came off,” reflected one woman who lost her home in the storm, “what came in here was the Devil.”
Although so much more is needed, the world’s athletes are trying to help in as many ways as they can.
According to CBS Sports, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has decided that the 2018 Puerto Rico Open will be changed to a charity event in hopes of bringing together PGA Tour players, athletes, celebrities, and sponsors in order to benefit the island’s hurricane relief charities.
Roughly 95.4% of Americans participate in some form of charitable giving, and this unofficial PGA Tour tournament should see plenty of donations in order to help the struggling people of Puerto Rico.
“The Puerto Rico Open has been part of the PGA Tour for the last 10 years and our commitment to golf on the island has never been stronger,” said Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner. “Our hope is that this special event in 2018 will benefit Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts to the fullest extent, while reminding the world that Puerto Rico is a premier golf and travel destination.”
The island has struggled to recover since October, and it will likely take years to restore everything back to how it once was. Luckily the good people of the world, both professional athletes and otherwise, are able to help.
“There’s no doubt once this is said and done, we’re going to have an incredible, vibrant island,” added Sidney Wolf, Puerto Rico Open tournament chair.
Unfortunately, there are plenty more issues plaguing this world than one single problem. When disaster strikes, it’s important for athletes and others to step forward and lend a hand, but it’s just as important for people to provide assistance to those suffering from other problems as well, especially serious diseases.
In 2011 alone, the U.S. government allotted $450 million for Alzheimer’s research, but every dollar helps when it comes to fighting debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s.
On a smaller, yet just as important scale, non-professional athletes are hoping to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease and provide additional research through donations of their own. Athletes against Alzheimer’s have currently raised $27,307 to fight Alzheimer’s. The athletes are hoping to reach their goal of $10,000.
Though Americans are encouraged to donate anything they can to these important causes, it’s a great help that athletes and major organizations are able to spread awareness to both certain causes and the charities themselves.
As far as Puerto Rico’s water and waste issues, the island has come a long way since October. The Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority reports that it’s operating at 86% capacity.