The 2017 hurricane season has bought about abnormally high levels of devastation throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. Fortunately, celebrities have been coming through on the financial tip.
But retired NBA player Tim Duncan showed up in more ways than one for those who’ve been displaced by Hurricane Irma. Not only did he pledge a $250,000 donation to those who’ve been displaced, he’s pleaded for the public to keep in mind the storm’s devastation outside of the U.S.
Thus far, Irma has been responsible for 37 deaths in the Caribbean and left millions without electricity.
On Saturday, Duncan, who retired from the NBA in 2016, penned the letter “Don’t Forget About The Islands” on Player’s Tribune in the hopes of attracting greater attention to the urgency of relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“I’m not normally one to speak directly in the media, or write stuff publicly,” Duncan’s letter read. “So I’m a little out of my comfort zone here. I don’t use Twitter. I don’t have a Facebook. Interviews are O.K., I guess, but I prefer when they’re on the shorter side.”
“Right now as I type this, the U.S. Virgin Islands — the place where I was born and where I grew up — has been badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. The people there, many of whom are old friends of mine, are suffering,” the post continued. “Weather reports say that another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Jose, is close behind. No one knows what the place will look like when the rain stops.”
In his letter, Duncan said that he planned to pledge $250,000 towards relief efforts and appealed to others to donate as well.
“I know not everyone can give, and that’s O.K. — after all, a lot of you just got done giving financial support to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the fires on the West Coast,” he continued. “But if you’re able, here’s what I can promise: Every dollar donated will go directly to relief efforts on the ground.”
Duncan went on to say that he’s already organizing a group of people to fly with him to directly distribute supplies from San Antonio to St. Croix once the weather returns to normal.
“I’m writing this to ask for your help in the relief efforts, but I’m also asking you not to forget about islands like the Virgin Islands and St. Martin and others,” Duncan wrote in the letter’s conclusion.