Direct Relief International, one of the world’s leading medical relief organizations, announced Thursday that 20 players from the NBA have committed to supporting the organization in its effort to help the people of Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
Many of the players are donating $1,000 for every point they score in their respective games occurring March 25-27, including LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, JaVale McGee, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
Others have committed to a set donation, including DJ Augustin, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Tyreke Evans, Danilo Gallinari, Xavier Henry, Antawn Jamison, Jason Kapono, Quincy Pondexter, Brian Scalabrine, Etan Thomas, and Ben Wallace.
The donations will go to Direct Relief’s Japan Relief and Recovery Fund. Formed with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the fund supports the immediate health needs of people by working with local authorities best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.
“We are incredibly proud that our athletes have rallied together to assist with Direct Relief’s efforts in Japan,” said Arn Tellem, principal of the management division of leading sports marketing and management agency Wasserman Media Group, which represents the athletes. “Due to the gravity of the situation, we hope that citizens around the world consider following the example of our athletes by making a donation of any amount to an organization of their choice assisting in the Japanese relief efforts.”
Direct Relief has already provided emergency funds for the provision of emergency materials for thousands of displaced persons in 20 facilities throughout Miyagi Prefecture, with special attention being paid to the needs of persons with disabilities and elderly persons.
“Direct Relief responds to emergencies all around the world, including the U.S., and the scale of the tragedy in Japan is immense by any measure,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief International. “These world-class NBA athletes are showing world-class generosity to support people in Japan who need help now and will still need it as the headlines fade. We hope they light up scoreboards this weekend.”
There are two ways to help:
1) Donate to the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund at www.directrelief.org/Japanrelief
2) Text “Give10” to 20222 to give $10 to Japan.
100 percent of funds received for the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund will be dedicated exclusively to relief and recovery efforts in Japan. Direct Relief has already committed $1.5 million in financial support for relief efforts in Japan.
Direct Relief’s extensive 64-year history of humanitarian experience is joined with JACL’s extensive network of 112 chapters, including its Japan chapter, which is coordinating with a broad scope of Japanese civic and non-profit organizations and businesses.
“We are grateful to these NBA players for their help and thank everyone who has contributed to the fund already or who will do so,” said JACL National Executive Director Floyd Mori.