TACOMA, Washington — Aside from being a famous Portuguese football player, Cristiano Ronaldo is just as known for his global charity work. In fact, DoSomething named him the world’s most charitable sportsperson in 2015. Ronaldo’s charity efforts date back nearly 10 years ago but most recently he has dedicated his humanitarian efforts toward the fight against COVID-19 in his home country of Portugal. With Ronaldo’s efforts to fight COVID-19, he addresses both the pandemic and global poverty simultaneously.
COVID-19 Relief Efforts
Along Ronaldo’s side in the fight against COVID-19 is his agent, Jorge Mendes. The two announced in March of 2020 that they were going to fund intensive care wings in two Portuguese hospitals — North Lisbon’s University Hospital Centre (CHULN) and Porto’s Santo Antonio hospital. CHULN will have a total of two wings, both of which will have 10 beds. Porto’s Santo Antonio hospital will have one wing that can house 15 COVID-19 patients. Each wing will be equipped with ventilators, heart monitors, pumps, syringes and other essential equipment for COVID-19 patients. Additionally, Ronaldo donated five ventilators to the Health Service of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (SESARAM). A fellow Portuguese football player, Bernardo Silva, also reported that Ronaldo has enlisted the aid of other players by asking them to donate 50% of their qualification bonus toward the fight against COVID-19.
Other Humanitarian Efforts
Ronaldo’s efforts to fight COVID-19 are admirable but he has also addressed a number of other global issues as well. Over the years, he has most notably been an ambassador for Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision, all humanitarian aid organizations. Ronaldo’s specific efforts include:
- In 2015, Ronaldo used his Twitter platform to bring awareness to the devastating earthquake in Nepal, which left thousands of people without homes or resources. He tweeted, “Help the children affected by #NepalQuake by supporting @SavetheChildren’s relief efforts.”
- During the year of 2016, Ronaldo donated toward food and medical care for children in Syria. In an effort to bring in more donations, he brought global awareness to Syrian children who face the ongoing effects of the country’s civil war, by tweeting, “A lot can happen in five years but for some refugee kids, nothing has changed. Don’t forget about them.”
- In 2016, Ronaldo also helped develop an app that allows fans to “take a selfie” with the athlete. The app is available globally and a portion of the cost to download goes to Save the Children.
A Dedicated Celebrity Humanitarian
As an ambassador for multiple humanitarian organizations, Ronaldo has brought attention to global issues over the years. Whether it be through personal monetary donations or using his platform to raise awareness for a cause, he has become equally known for his charitable actions as he has his athletic performances. Ronaldo’s efforts to fight COVID-19 in Portugal are reflective of his dedication to helping those around the world in times of need.
– Sage Ahrens-Nichols