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Tennis Stars Monica Puig And Maria Sharapova Donate Time And Money To Aid Puerto Rico • You Can Donate Too

Fourteen months ago, Monica Puig made history capturing Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold medal.


This week, the gold-medal champion delivered supplies, stoves, medicine and hope to the hurricane-ravaged island.


Sunday afternoon, a tearful Puig passionately pledged to support Puerto Rico during her runner-up speech at the Luxembourg Open.


Speaking directly to the Puerto Rican people, Puig broke down in tears vowing: “We’re gonna come back stronger.”


Less than 24 hours after her moving speech, Puig and Maria Sharapova traveled to Puerto Rico to provide aid and support to victims of the hurricane.


The pair met Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello at the airport and delivered medicine to San Jorge’s Children’s Hospital.


Puig and Sharapova handed out supplies, including 1,250 gas stoves, 1,000 solar powered light/radio units and 3,000 propane cylinders.


The champions helped distribute pre-packed bags of groceries provided by the Red Cross and the Ricky Martin Foundation and ATT, Puig’s sponsor, donated 200 cell phones.


The YouCaring page Puig created in support of hurricane relief efforts has raised more than $141,000 in donations. She bought supplies with funds and shipped them to Puerto Rico ahead of her Monday morning arrival with Sharapova.


“We had a huge Fed Ex plane flying from Jacksonville with a bunch of supplies that thankfully with the fund that I was able to set up and the generous donations of so many people we were able to buy necessities for the people of Puerto Rico,” Puig said. “To (got there and) talk to the people and share their concerns, their fears, their worries. I want to make it very clear that ever since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico my main focus has been to play for them and to be very strong for them.”


Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico destroying the power grid and creating flooding and massive damage to homes.


More than 80 percent of the island’s 3.4 million people are still without power, The Washington Post reports.


Puig has poured herself into the relief effort eliciting support from fans and fellow players alike.


Sharapova pledged all proceeds from the sales of her candy line Sugarpova for the remainder of the year to Puig’s fund in order to help with relief efforts. Nick Kyrgios committed $50 for every ace he struck to the cause.


“Little things make a big difference and her efforts are so incredibly admirable,” Sharapova said of Puig. “Please donate to her fund.”


A year after shedding tears bringing Puerto Rico its first Olympic gold medal, Puig delivered hope and plenty of positive energy to her home island.


“Thank you for your love, friendship and support during this time,” Puig wrote in a tweet of thanks to Sharapova. “You definitely have a beautiful heart and soul.


“Together we helped the lives of thousands of people today and this is just the beginning! Puerto Rico will come back better and stronger from this! Thanks for helping me give them hope and a smile!”


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