ARLINGTON -- An emotional Carlos Beltran broke down in tears Tuesday while talking about the devastation caused in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, and thanked the Astros for their support of his efforts to provide relief to the island. The Astros Foundation, in partnership with Crane Worldwide, FedEx and the
ARLINGTON -- An emotional Carlos Beltran broke down in tears Tuesday while talking about the devastation caused in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, and thanked the Astros for their support of his efforts to provide relief to the island. The Astros Foundation, in partnership with Crane Worldwide, FedEx and the Houston Mayor's Office, is facilitating the transport of over 240,000 pounds of supplies -- equivalent to approximately six truckloads of air cargo -- to provide aid in Puerto Rico, the team announced Tuesday.
The first delivery of supplies, which includes water, clothing and diapers, is scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Beltran said he has trucks and personnel on the ground to meet the plane and begin delivering the supplies to a country that's without power and drinking water.
Beltran said Astros owner Jim Crane asked him on Sunday what the team could do to help.
"I said, 'Jim, right now there's a lot of help, there's a lot of supplies, but what we need to find is a plane to provide the supplies to Puerto Rico,'" Beltran said. "He said right away, 'Carlos. I'll take care of that. My foundation is going to take care of that.' I'm very thankful for the organization, for the Astros Foundation and I can't thank him enough.
"This help is going to get to Puerto Rico tomorrow and we're going to be able -- through my foundation -- to be able to impact the people. I have trucks and personnel in Puerto Rico that are going to wait for the supplies to come, put them into trucks and start providing that to the cities. Right now, there's no water, there's no power. I talked to my brother the other day and he said they even can't find water to drink. When you hear that and you know that you're family, it's tough times."
Crane said in a statement: "The Astros, the Astros Foundation and our partners are committed to supporting the Houston community as well as other communities and those of our players. The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Hurricane Irma in Florida has been profound and we want to help as quickly and meaningfully as we can.
"We are grateful to our partners at FedEx and the Mayor's Office for their support in this effort, because Houston knows the importance of an immediate response in a time of crisis."
Last week, Beltran and his wife, Jessica, announced a $1 million personal donation to help Puerto Rico recover. Beltran is soliciting further donations through the CrowdRise page at www.crowdrise.com/o/en/team/carlosbeltran.
"Everybody has approached me to see what they could do for the country," he said. "The only help I need is to promote the fund I just created and continue to raise money. Like I said, I'm extremely grateful to the Astros, the people that reached out and I have promised that help is going to get there and we're going to make sure every money that we raise, 100 percent of what we raise is going to go to the people that really need it the most. The whole country is devastated. It's hard to see the people suffering the way they are right now."
The Astros had several players' families affected by the storm, including Beltran, shortstop Carlos Correa and catcher Juan Centeno, in addition to bench coach Alex Cora and translator Alex Cintron, both former players. Correa's maternal grandparents, who live near a river on Santa Isabel, lost their house.
Correa said he final spoke to his maternal grandmother, who called him in Arlington at 2 a.m. CT Tuesday for the first time since the storm tore through the island last week. He said his other grandparents came through the storm in good shape.
"My grandparents, they lost everything in the house, but they're alive," Correa said. "They're safe. They're healthy. That makes me really happy. The material stuff, we can always get new furniture and stuff, but the lives are what matter to me and they're fine."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.