Buddy Hield, shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings, is dedicating himself to a critical endeavor this offseason: relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian. A native of the Bahamas where Dorian hit the hardest, Hield has a deeply personal stake in providing aid.
“My heart is broken for my country,” Hield said in a video posted to his social media accounts. “Bahamians are one of the strongest set of people I know, but they still need your help to get through this.”
Initially donating $100,000 of his own money to relief efforts, Hield recently launched a GoFundMe page in partnership with his foundation, with a goal of raising $1 million. Since its launch last week, the campaign has raised over $185,000.
“Together, our donations can help restore hope, life and basic human needs to those battered areas over the next year,” Hield said.
Hield is just one of many professional athletes lending their support to friends and family at home in the Bahamas. Center for the Phoenix Suns and fellow Bahamian Deandre Ayton pledged $100,000 of his own money toward Dorian relief and urged his Twitter followers to donate items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies and canned goods.
Jonquel Jones, forward for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, is also supporting relief efforts. “We’re just trying to do all we can right now to get relief out to people,” she said, referring to her own GoFundMe page in a video she posted to Twitter. She then thanked fans for sending their prayers and good wishes. With over $43,000 raised, her campaign has nearly reached its $50,000 goal.
Arguably the most famous former athlete in the world and a frequent visitor to the Bahamas, Michael Jordan has pledged $1 million toward clean up efforts, stating that he is devastated by what the hurricane has done to the Island.
For professional athletes, the imperative to use their vast resources for good is often most pronounced when tragedies like Hurricane Dorian strikes, and particularly when they hit close to home. Athletes likes Buddy Hield, Deandre Ayton, Jonquel Jones and Michael Jordan serve as inspiration for all of us to lend a hand too, no matter the size of our contribution.