Tennis star Naomi Osaka will donate the prize money from an upcoming tournament to fund relief efforts in Haiti, the 23-year-old shared on social media this past weekend.
Osaka announced the donation after a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked the country early Saturday.
As of Sunday, the death toll had risen to at least 1,297 people. Another 5,700-plus people were injured across the Caribbean nation, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes.
“Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break,” Osaka, whose father, Leonard Francois, hails from Jacmel, Haiti, tweeted in part.
“I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti,” she added. “I know our ancestors (sic) blood is strong we’ll keep rising.”
Osaka, the defending U.S. Open champion, is competing in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this week. The first-place winner for the singles draw is set to make $255,220, while the runner-up will take home $188,945.
While Osaka did not specify where her donation will go, a number of organizations are already on the ground in Haiti conducting rescue and recovery efforts.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said Sunday that humanitarian needs are acute, with many Haitians urgently needing health care, clean water and shelter. Children who have been separated from parents need protection, she said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said a helicopter was transporting medical personnel from the Haitian capital to the quake zone and evacuating the injured back to Port-au-Prince. Lt. Commander Jason Nieman, a spokesman, said another helicopter was being sent from the Bahamas, along with other aircraft and ships.
Already on the scene were several members of Cuba’s 253-member health care mission to Haiti, and the socialist nation’s state media showed photos of them giving first aid to victims injured by the quake.
The North Carolina-based aid group Samaritan’s Purse announced it would fly 13 disaster response specialists and 31 tons of emergency supplies to Haiti. Those include shelter materials and water filtration units.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.