Jennifer Lopez has made a $1 million personal donation to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which is facing a massive humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Deadline reports. The singer and actress appeared earlier Sunday at a press conference in New York with Governor Andrew Cuomo, actress and activist Rosie Perez, baseball player Seth Lugo, and a variety of union leaders and politicians to speak in support of relief efforts in Puerto Rico:
Lopez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, gave her remarks in Spanish, then in English, thanking Governor Cuomo for his work on Puerto Rican relief efforts and asking all Americans to help the Caribbean recover from the devastating hurricane season. Lopez is also collaborating with singer (and her ex-husband) Marc Antony, baseball player and current signifcant other Alex Rodriguez, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Dallas Mavericks player J.J. Barea to coordinate further aid. Lopez told the audience that she and Rodriguez were using their connections in entertainment and sports to solicit donations and had secured “significant contributions” from Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. “I will always be a New Yorker. I am a proud Puerto Rican,” Lopez said. After the event, Cuomo thanked her for her donation and involvement on Twitter:
Lopez also posted a plea for donations on Instagram on Friday, in a message she taped in Las Vegas, encouraging viewers to visit UnitedForPuertoRico.com, where Puerto Rican First Lady Beatriz Roselló’s is coordinating efforts to rebuild:
Here are Lopez’s complete comments:
I am proud to be here to join Governor Cuomo and all New Yorkers to support the people of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and today, Puerto Rico needs our help. Hurrican Maria has devastated our island. This is the strongest hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years, and the consequences have been disastrous. Lives have been lost, power is down across the entire island, more than 15,000 people have been forced into shelters, and the storm has devastated the lives of thousands of others. My cousin and I and our family still haven’t been able to hear from all of our family over there, and we are concerned for them, and for everyone on the island. Given the loss and devastation, we need to pay attention, and to urgently support Puerto Rico and the Caribbean with donations and contributions. Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are utilizing all of our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports, and business to garner support for Puerto Rican and Caribbean relief efforts. We’re proud to confirm that on the way over here, Alex called me and told me that Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball, Hall Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees have both committed to join us in giving a significant contribution to this cause.
With Marc Antony, we are spearheading additional relief efforts and organizing the Latino community of artists and athletes to rush the relief that our brothers and sisters in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean desperately need. We’re working with Mark Cuban and J.J. Barea. We have two team planes filled with supplies and generators awaiting air clearance to depart, land, and unload these much-needed supplies in San Juan. And I will be donating one million dollars from the proceeds of my Las Vegas show to the designated beneficiaries—charitable and NGO organizations.
I’ve been so moved by the initial responses for support from our friends and associates in entertainment and business. They have been overwhelming. Nobody said no. Anybody we’ve called is right there asking what they can do, they’re all very eager to help. We know we must address the immediate needs and means of survival for the people while focusing on the long-term rebuilding of the infrastructure of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. I will always be a New Yorker. I am a proud Puerto Rican. And I cannot tell you what it meant to me and the people of Puerto Rico to see New York not only pledge their support, but for Governor Cuomo to actually show up with resources and supplies. Nadia, you too. Governor, you sent a message to all Puerto Ricans that New Yorker stand with you. It is now time for all Americans to be front and center in helping to bring awareness and solutions to the task of rebuilding Puerto Rico. Thank you so much, Governor, for your leadership and your support for the people of Puerto Rico.