Hurricane Maria left devastation across Puerto Rico that may take years for the island to recover from. According to reports, power has not been restored for 97% of residents there and basic necessities like food, water, and fuel are in short supply. In the aftermath of the disaster, athletes, former presidents, celebrities, as well as everyday people have joined in the effort to raise money and bring supplies to the U.S. territory.
A young U.S. Soccer fan is doing his part as well, 7 year-old Alex Ibarra. The American Outlaws Oakland junior capo is raffling off his signed Christian Pulisic jersey in order to help raise funds for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Pulisic is his favorite U.S. Men’s National Team player, Jane Campbell is his favorite USWNT member, but the funds will go to a worthy cause.
He announced his plans on Twitter earlier this week:
We will be raffling off a special item at our Oct. 6th viewing party donated by our Jr. capo, Alex. All proceeds benefit Puerto Rico relief! pic.twitter.com/Wedb1lhGJ5— AO Oakland (@AOOakland) September 27, 2017
Asked why he was inspired to give up the jersey, he said, “I thought I should be able to help them” after seeing the hardship people are facing in Puerto Rico. The youngster, who plays forward for his youth team, got the jersey autographed at a signing before the March World Cup qualifier in San Jose, a match Alex got to attend.
The jersey is one of 53 that Alex has in his collection and the fact that he’s willing to raffle it off has left his mom feeling proud.
There will never be enough words to describe the joy Alex brings to my life. His selflessness stuns me. His passion for community lifts me.— Carina Ibarra (@Aggie9) September 27, 2017
The raffle will take place on October 6th at Overland Honky Tonkeria during the AO Oakland watch party for the match against Panama. Anyone who can’t attend the party can purchase raffle tickets for the kit as well by clicking here. The Oakland chapter of the AO, which Alex’s mom Carina co-founded, is a little different than their counterparts in San Jose and San Francisco in that their home bar is open to fans of all ages. This means that Alex will get to be there when the jersey gets raffled off.
As far as the match itself, Alex isn’t too sure that the USMNT can get it done against Panama. He predicted a 1-1 result and gave the U.S. a 45% chance of making it to the World Cup.