Max Garcia seeks help for Puerto Rico, where he has family

AP

Max Garcia finally knows his family, including a grandfather, are safe in Puerto Rico. Now, the Broncos guard is doing what he can to help the relief efforts after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island.

His family in Atlanta has partnered with a local Puerto Rican restaurant to raise necessities, including first-aid kits, water, diapers, baby formula and pet food, in a donation drive Sunday. Trucks will deliver the goods to a Delta Cargo plane scheduled to fly to Puerto Rico on Monday.

“My mom has always been heavily involved in the community, so is my aunt, who owns a Puerto Rican dance company,” Garcia said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. “We just felt like we should do something as a family and this is what we saw as a great opportunity. We’re just hoping to get a lot of support and help. A lot of people have been hitting me up already.”

Garcia also has an uncle and his wife and a great, great aunt in Puerto Rico, which lost power and cell service. He and his family spent a few days praying they were OK.

“It took a few days to hear back from my uncle, and my uncle is taking care of my grandfather who is a nursing home,” Garcia said. “So we didn’t know what was going on there. The nursing home wasn’t able to call us back.

“Thankfully, after a few days he was able to contact us.”

The NFL has also joined the Hurricane Maria relief efforts. During its Thursday Night Football broadcast on CBS and NFL Network, the league will include messages to urge fans to donate to American Red Cross Hurricane Relief.