Cubs C Rene Rivera and wife run toy drive for kids in Puerto Rico

Cubs catcher Rene Rivera and his wife, Mariel Perez, are trying to bring some holiday cheer to boys and girls in Puerto Rico, who are still dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Retailers Kmart and Sears have pledged to help Rivera, who is a free agent, and his wife collect 25,000 toys for children in Puerto Rico this holiday season. Their initiative is called, “That No Child Loses Their Illusion,” or “Que Ningun Nino Pierda la Ilusion.”

The toy drive will take place at Kmart and Sears locations in Miami, Chicago and Arizona beginning on Monday. Rivera and his wife will then distribute the gifts in Puerto Rico in mid-December.

“Not everyday God gives us the opportunity to build the country we want for our kids to grow up,” Perez wrote on Twitter. “We’ve been helping with everyone that wants to help. Now, we would like make Christmas special for the kids that lost their homes after Maria. Help us so no kid lose their hope.”

Retailers Kmart and Sears have pledged to help Rivera and his wife collect 25,000 toys for children in Puerto Rico this holiday season. | Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press and Twitter

Those who want to participate can either buy a toy or leave them at the participating Kmart and Sears stores. Rivera also said you can also purchase toys for $5, $10 or $20 at the stores.

The Riveras set up a YouCaring page so if those who want to participate can’t make it to the participating stores, they can donate money through there. Their campaign has been shared more than 350 times and has raised nearly $1,700 as of Wednesday morning. Perez wrote on the page that they hope to raise $50,000.

Rivera and Perez have been actively working to support the families affected by Hurricane Maria. As the Sun-Times reported in September, Perez started a GoFundMe campaign that has since raised nearly $38,000 for hurricane relief.

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