Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea.

Image: David Zalubowski/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea and team owner Mark Cuban stepped up in a big way to help Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

According to ESPN, on Monday, Cuban lent Barea the team plane to ferry water, food, and other necessary supplies to the island, which is reeling from the Category 4 storm.

Barea is the only native Puerto Rican currently active in the NBA. While he and his wife Viviana Ortiz now live stateside, much of his family remain in Puerto Rico. 

In addition to delivering supplies, Barea will use the plane to bring his mother and grandmother back to Dallas with him. However his father will reportedly remain in Puerto Rico to help with relief efforts.

In a text message to ESPN, Cuban elaborated on Barea’s quick mobilization in the face of disaster.

“I was really proud of J.J. and how quickly he got involved and how hard he worked to make all of this happen,” said Cuban.

In addition to physically flying supplies to those in need, Barea and Ortiz have also raised over $140,000 in a fundraiser for Hurricane Maria relief.

But Cuban, Barea, and Ortiz aren’t the only public figures taking action in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Many celebrities, including those with Puerto Rican heritage, have rallied funds and donated money. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and Daddy Yankee are donating their own funds, as well as calling for others to do the same.

Jennifer Lopez is donating $1 million in proceeds from her Las Vegas shows, and attended a New York press conference with Governor Cuomo and others to raise awareness.

Former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who is Dominican-American, joined Lopez and Mark Cuban in New York to raise funds and awareness.

Mark Anthony stood by ex-wife Lopez for the press conference, and is helping to raise money and morale on his social media channels, urging Puerto Ricans to stay strong.

The Puerto Rican “Despacito” singers Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi are also donating money via Univision, Telemundo, and the Red Cross. And, emulating JLo, Daddy Yankee has pledged an additional $1 million for recovery. 

The former leaders of the free world aren’t sitting on the sidelines, either. All five living former presidents launched the One America Appeal to raise funds after Hurricane Harvey. And Tuesday, President Obama announced that the fund was expanding its scope in order to assist Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump praised the assistance his administration has given Puerto Rico, saying “we have had tremendous reviews” on federal hurricane response.

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