KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s soccer program has teamed up with the Puerto Rican Professional Association (PROFESA) based in Miami, Fla., to assist in Hurricane Maria relief efforts. The project is spearheaded by the team’s seniors – Chris Betancourt (Weston, Fla.), Eric McWoods (St. Louis, Mo.) and Eddie Howe (St. Louis, Mo.).
PROFESA is an organization that is working on several initiatives of consolidation and in direct coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deliver goods to affected families.
Below is a list of goods that are needed:
- Flashlights and batteries
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby/adult diapers and wipes
- Non-perishable food items
- Baby formula and food
- First aid kits and supplies
- Bottled water
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Paper plates, napkins and utensils
- Canned or powdered milk
- Canned and dry pet food
- Feminine hygiene products
Those that are interested in donating goods to the charity drive are encouraged to leave items outside the men’s soccer offices or locker room inside the Durwood building on UMKC’s campus. Money donations can also be given by visiting PROFESA’s website.
The charity drive hits close to home for Betancourt, as he has family members that have been impacted by the natural disaster.
“I think it is important to help the people of Puerto Rico because right now there are millions lacking basic necessities including electricity and running water that affect a lot of the things we do daily, such as take a shower, flush the toilet or turn on the air conditioner,” commented Betancourt. “With the lack of these two things, a lot of businesses like supermarkets and other stores aren’t legally allowed to be open. This is causing a huge demand for things such as food and other consumer goods that are very low in quantity on the island. We can help the people of Puerto Rico by donating basic consumer goods. Everything is in high demand and even though you can’t help everyone, at least you can help someone.”
“We should always be in a position to help others in need,” shared McWoods. “It shows a great gesture towards humanity.”
“Helping out with the Hurricane Maria efforts seems like the right thing to do right now, especially since we have a teammate from Puerto Rico who has been directly affected by the hurricane,” said Howe.
The team will continue to collect goods up until its final home game against Air Force on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. CT with a donation station set up inside the main entrance at the match.
– UMKC –