Javy Báez, José Berríos step up to help children in Puerto Rico
Javy Báez isn’t one to be caught just sitting around. Wherever Báez is, action seems to be close behind. So it’s no surprise that, while MLB is on hold and players are quarantined, Báez couldn’t help but do something.
That something turned out to be a worthwhile event for the children of his native Puerto Rico.
Báez teamed up with his brother-in-law, Twins pitcher José Berríos, and Taquiza, a restaurant in Puerto Rico, to provide warm meals to over 500 children in Puerto Rico on Saturday afternoon. The duo provided bags filled with a warm meal consisting of pasta with chicken, a water bottle, a soda and juices. In addition, they provided bags that had green plantains to enjoy at home, hand sanitizers and face masks.
“Keeping (the kids) happy and on the right path is the most important thing for us,” Báez told reporters in Puerto Rico. “We will always be here for the kids.”
Báez, his wife Irmarie and Berríos provided contactless delivery, having families drive up to the front of the Taquiza restaurant in the town of Toa Baja, and a volunteer would place the bag of food and supplies in their trunk.
The duo did this because they knew it was the right thing to do.
“We’re aware of the situation,” Berríos told reporters. “But we’re human beings and we can’t depend on a singular person or group.
“God has given us this opportunity and we must take advantage of it to give that contribution to families. We are here to help the town.”
Báez and Berríos, who are staying in their native Puerto Rico during the pandemic, helped fill the goodie bags, planning to give out 500. Other locals volunteered and donated more supplies, pushing the number of children helped over the 500 mark.
It’s left Báez and Berríos considering the possibility of doing another giveaway. The pair planned and executed this donation within roughly a week and wonder what can be done with more time and preparation.
“We started with 500 bags with a lot of things and we thought it was too little,” Báez told reporters. “Since we did this one so quickly, if we have to do it again, we will do it.”
Featured image courtesy of Jorge J. Muñiz Ortiz