Ronaldo Sends Relief Items for Earthquake Victims
In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that rocked Turkey and Syria last month, football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has stepped up to help. The former Manchester United striker, who now plays for Saudi League side Al Nassr, has sent a plane loaded with aid to the affected areas.
The earthquakes, which had magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.6 respectively, claimed the lives of over 44,000 people in Turkey and more than 50,000 in Syria. Thousands of people remain homeless, living in tents and makeshift arrangements, and tremors continue to rattle Turkey's south.
Ronaldo's aid package includes tents, food packages, pillows and blankets, beds, baby food and milk, and medical supplies. His contribution is part of a broader relief effort that includes donations from entrepreneurs, celebrities, and chefs.
But this is not the only gesture of help Ronaldo has made following the earthquakes. Turkish footballer Merih Demiral revealed that he has permission from Ronaldo to auction one of his signed jerseys from his collection, and the money will be donated to aid the earthquake victims.
For Ronaldo, it's yet another opportunity to use his platform for good. The Portuguese star has a long history of philanthropy, including paying for a child's brain surgery and contributing to cancer research in his home country. During the pandemic, he also donated £1 million to Portuguese hospitals.
Other Earthquake Relief Efforts
In addition to Ronaldo's aid, many other entrepreneurs, celebrities, and chefs have contributed to the relief efforts. The initiative started when Demiral reached out to his fellow athletes and asked for the signed gear he could put up for bidding to raise funds.
The Disasters Emergency Committee received a £1 million donation from the Premier League as part of a massive humanitarian effort from countries worldwide. Additionally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where Ronaldo currently plays after leaving Manchester United, also extended substantial aid to support those impacted by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
A Dream Meeting With a Fan
In addition to his aid efforts, Ronaldo has also made the dream of a young Syrian boy come true. Nabil Saeed, who survived the earthquakes, told rescue workers that he wanted to meet Ronaldo. The video of Saeed's request went viral, and the Portuguese forward responded by inviting the boy to watch Al Nassr play in Riyadh.
Before the match, Saeed had the opportunity to meet Ronaldo in person, giving him a high-five and a big hug. "When I saw Ronaldo, I thought it was a dream. I didn't believe myself. When this dream would end, I didn't know. I pray to God that it will not be a dream," Saeed told Reuters.
What's Next for Ronaldo
The star player will be next seen in action on Thursday when Al-Nassr faces Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League (SPL). Currently, the SPL is in its 20th of 30 Matchday, and the next match is between Al-Batin and Al-Khaleej on March 9.