In just about 24 hours after announcing a campaign to raise funds to assist in Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurrican Maria, Puerto Rican No.1 and gold medalist Monica Puig smashed her initial $25,000 fundraising goal and upped the current goal to $50,000 after an overwhelming response.
"Puerto Rico is my home and to see what's going on there truly breaks my heart," a tearful Puig told CNN via satelite from Wuhan on Friday. "Tennis is so small and life is so precious. It doesn't matter what I'm doing here out on the court.
"It's important to me because it's my career. there's a big picture and there's so many people going through so much more than just winning or losing a tennis match."
Puig's campaign has been shared across the tennis community and the world online, with her WTA peers including Maria Sharapova, ATP star Kei Nishikori, along with Tennis Channel and IMG helping the cause.
— CNN Sport (@cnnsport) September 22, 2017
"I can say that 100% of my heart is with Puerto Rico and I really wish that they come back bigger and stronger from this. My initial goal was $25,000...and [it] made me extremely emotional to see that so many people care and so many people have reached out."
In addition, WTA legend Gigi Fernandez, owner of 17 Grand Slam doubles titles and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, has also pledged to help in the recovery effort.
Fernandez has pledged a $50,000 crowd-funded goal as well, also from the website YouCaring.
The situation in Puerto Rico has gone from utterly devastating to a humanitarian crisis in recent days, with the storm currently being blamed for 15 deaths on the island, and 37 overall.
The power grid was completely destroyed in the wake of the storm, leaving all 3.4 million residents without electricity.
I am raising money for hurrinace relief. Please consider a donation. No amount is too smallhttps://t.co/lyXWl2mamc
— Gigi Fernandez (@gigifernandez) September 22, 2017
Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello has told international news outlets that it could take months to restore power in some locations, with San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz estimating that some areas could be without power for four to six months, and calling the deverstation unlike anything she'd ever seen before.
WTA Charities is the WTA's global philanthropic organization dedicated to making a positive impact across the globe. Our mission is to be a social responsibility vehicle built on the WTA's values to empower and provide for a better future. We're dedicated to combining, strengthening and enhancing the community and charitable efforts of the WTA through its members (players, alumnae and tournaments), along with our partners.