‘We Have to Give Back': Cubs Catcher Spreads Christmas Cheer in Puerto Rico

Cubs catcher Rene Rivera and his wife want to make sure no kid loses hope this holiday season.

That's why they have joined forces with Kmart, Sears and Shop Your Way to bring some holiday magic to kids in Puerto Rico.

When Hurricane Maria devastated the island, Rivera and his Puerto Rican teammates were quick to help.

Rivera and his wife, Mariel Perez, even started a GoFundMe page which went on to raise $40,000 to build new homes.

"Our goal is three houses for each Cub," Perez said. "Inside and out reconstruction."

And their work isn't done.

This holiday season-- they are partnering with Kmart and Sears to buy Christmas presents for kids in Puerto Rico.

"We have to give back, as baseball players, pro athletes, humans, celebrities--we should go and help others," Rivera said.

You can donate $5, $10 or $20 and Kmart will match the donation.

"We are very excited to help keep the magic of Christmas alive in Puerto Rico ," Kmart's Divisional Vice President Rob Gerlach said.

Kmart will then provide toys for boys and girls of all ages.

"There's so many people who shop everyday and this is small way for us to give back to them for their patronage," Gerlach said.

Rivera and his family will hand deliver the toys to towns across Puerto Rico just in time for Christmas.

For me and my family--always we have that passion to help and bring joy to other person," Rivera said.

For the family it's a labor of love.

"We cannot think of rebuilding an island--our island--just with cement," Perez said. "We need to rebuild hopes too."

You can donate in person in Sears and Kmart stores across the Chicago area until Dec. 16.

You can also donate online.

Contact Us