Friday, Sixers’ star Ben Simmons launched an initiative called “Philly Pledge” to direct Coronavirus donations to two worthwhile groups.
One of those is Philabundance, the hunger relief organization that you’re probably familiar with. The non-profit distributes food to almost 100,000 people in the Delaware Valley each week. The second is PHL COVID-19, which is described as such on the Philly Pledge website:
PHL COVID-19, has been set up as a direct response to help the nonprofit sector continue to do what they do best – assist at risk community groups such as the elderly, disabled, homeless and economically disadvantaged through a range of essential social services.
Already, local athletes from a variety of sports have joined Simmons in donating to these causes.
Among them are Scott Kingery:
— Scott Kingery (@ScottyJetp4x) March 29, 2020
Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez:
Philadelphia has always been a fighting city with a strong sense of community for as long as a lived . Let’s fight back and help those people who have been greatly affected by this virus . Please join me join in this… https://t.co/Mc2gNSpruD
— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) March 29, 2020
Zach and Julie Ertz:
Our Community is TOUGH! Philly, let’s band together and help those in need! Use @ThePhillyPledge to find local nonprofits to help the fight against COVID-19. It’s our time to come together #ThePhillyPledge @ErtzFoundation pic.twitter.com/fnGXP5ZRSY
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) March 28, 2020
And a ton of others, such as Jalen Mills, Andrew Knapp, Bryce Harper, Claude Giroux, and Rhys Hoskins. That only includes athletes, too, and not individuals or business owners who have also kicked in.
It’s great to see Ben Simmons step up to the plate with this, though it shouldn’t be surprising. Ben donated in January for wildfire relief in his native Australia, an effort including other players that raised $750,000. He’s put his money where his mouth is before, and this is a fantastic gesture from a guy who, according to some people, hates Philly and can’t wait to join the Lakers.