Carlos Beltran donates $1M, seeks funds for Puerto Rico relief efforts

Veteran outfielder and designated hitter Carlos Beltran is leading the efforts of several Puerto Rican athletes and institutions to raise funds to help victims of Hurricane Maria, which ravaged the island earlier this week.

The Houston Astros star donated $1 million to the relief efforts. Beltran, his wife Jessica and children posted a message on social media, asking for help to relieve their fellow Puerto Ricans' pain and suffering.

"Any donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated and will help the people who need it the most," the Beltran family's message says.

The Category 4 hurricane (with wind gusts of over 150 mph) has left six dead and more than 10,000 people in shelters, leaving parts of the island without power and communications systems. Many roads and bridges have also been destroyed.

"The devastation brought by Hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico was unimaginable, leaving the island without power for an indefinite amount of time. Lots of us are still praying and hoping our loved ones to be safe and sound," said Beltran, a 20-year MLB veteran.

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and his wife Wanda launched a drive with a goal of raising over $1 million from donations within the United States. Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Enrique "Kike" Hernandez created his own relief effort.

NBA star Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks donated $50,000, encouraging people to help the efforts for those who are most affected on the island where his late father was born.

"You read the headlines, and they're all saying Puerto Rico might be powerless for 4-6 months," Anthony wrote in an article on The Players' Tribune. "But do you really understand the magnitude of that? Do you really?

"Right now, as I'm sitting here on Thursday night, there's thousands of little kids sitting in the dark. They might not have a roof over their heads anymore. Their houses might be totally destroyed. Their refrigerators aren't running. They might not have much food or clean water to last them the week," Carmelo said.

Meanwhile, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced on Friday a $1 million donation to entities working to help those affected in recent disasters. Hurricanes have also hit Cuba and Florida. An earthquake in Mexico killed at least 293 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.