Hernandez, Dodgers helping Puerto Rico

Hernandez, Dodgers helping Puerto Rico

LOS ANGELES -- Written on the side of Kiké Hernandez's hat are two messages: "Pray 4 Puerto Rico" and "No Te Quites PR," which translates to "Don't give up, Puerto Rico."

"It's one of those things my people from back home are very good about," Hernandez said about his message. "I know that we're going to find a way to come out [of it]."

Hernandez, a native of Puerto Rico, has played with the message written on his hat since Wednesday when Hurricane Maria first devastated Puerto Rico. Hernandez said he talked to his family Wednesday morning, but his fiancee hasn't heard from her family since the hurricane made landfall.

"Hurricane happened on Wednesday and it's been almost 72 hours," Hernandez said. "She hasn't heard anything yet. It's a little frustrating for sure, but it's nothing we can do. It's a really hard situation."

Instead of donating to the Red Cross, the Dodgers utility man felt more comfortable creating his own donation fund, which he started Thursday, where he can directly distribute funds to those in need. As of Friday, Hernandez's fund had received more than $20,000 from over 250 donors.

"If I do it myself, I have control over where the money goes," Hernandez said. "And hopefully I can help the people that need it the most."

For now, Hernandez plans to raise as much money as possible and then decide what to do with the funds when he finds out what the needs of Puerto Rico are.

On Friday, the Dodgers announced the franchise was joining in their player's relief efforts by pledging $100,000 to the American Red Cross toward Hurricane Irma and Maria efforts and the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation also plans to contribute proceeds of its silent auction Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday toward relief efforts.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.