Late last week, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons stepped up to the plate and made it clear he was going to do all he could to help the City of Philadelphia during this health scare. As cases of the coronavirus continued to rise in this area, Simmons sought out verified non-profit organizations around the city who could help those in need during this time.
Simmons began by reaching out to two companies in the Philadelphia area that each specialize in helping people and families in need, Philabundance and the PHL COVID-19 Fund. From those initial contacts, the Sixers star then developed a unique way to promote the organizations with their COVID-19 response.
Philabundance is a hunger relief organization, while the mission of the PHL COVID-19 Fund is to “help our nonprofit community navigate near-and longer-term challenges from COVID-19 and ensure that critical resources remain available for those in our community who need it most.“
The result was ‘The Philly Pledge‘, which Simmons introduced last week. The website goal is to make it easier for those who want to donate to COVID-19 relief but aren’t sure which non-profit organizations to which they should send money.
“With so much uncertainty facing us all around COVID-19, there’s one thing that we shouldn’t be uncertain about. And that’s our willingness to extend a helping hand to those in need during times of crisis. After all, we ARE the City of Brotherly Love.”
“But knowing where to turn and how to help can be overwhelming and confusing. That’s why we’ve done the research and found two causes that will help positively impact the areas of our community that need it the most during these tough times.” ~ Ben Simmons
Simmons was mentioned in the mayor’s Friday press conference last week. The pledge encouraged Sixers’ managing partner Josh Harris to also make a generous donation and even warranted some heavy praise from the team’s other business partner, Michael Rubin.
“Proud of my guy [Ben Simmons] for launching The Philly Pledge!!,” Ruben posted on social media. “It’s amazing to donate, but it’s even greater to start a movement!! Let’s help rally Philly and the world around beating this horrible virus! It’s my honor to have donated to the PHL COVID-19 Fund.“
While Rubin has already made a donation to one of Simmons’ preferred non-profits, the Sixers’ co-partner has also come up with other ways to help out during this time.
Last week, Rubin’s company, Fanatics, shifted gears on the production of all baseball jerseys into producing masks and gowns for healthcare workers using the material that is normally used to make those MLB jerseys.
The company will start by assisting all Pennsylvania area hospitals, facilities, and healthcare offices with the supplies. Their effort will then expand into New Jersey, New York, and then spread out from there.
Many more of Philly’s sports stars have joined in supporting The Philly Pledge effort with donations and by publicizing the effort. The signature social media posts feature those athletes in black-and-white portrait photos accompanied by The Philly Pledge logo.
Phillies players Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez, Scott Kingery, and Andrew Knapp have each created versions of the social media posts supporting the effort. Other Philly athletes to participate include Simmons’ teammate Tobias Harris, Claude Giroux of the Flyers, and Eagles star Zach Ertz with his wife, soccer star Julie Ertz.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney stated on Monday that Sixers ownership has also pledged funds to purchase 10,000 Chromebooks for Philadelphia students who have been driven out of the classroom by this pandemic. With no timeline as to when students may be able to return to school, this will help get the teachers and students connected so they will be able to resume school work and lessons.
Philly, we are all in this TOGETHER 🙏 – so, make the pledge today for OUR city. Help the less fortunate and, frankly, our entire community. Visit The Philly Pledge website from their logo now continuously linked at our own Philly Bell website in the sidebar area.
Join your Philadelphia Phillies favorites and others in taking @ThePhillyPledge and help local nonprofits in the Greater Philadelphia area to help fight against the COVID-19 virus. And as you do something, use #ThePhillyPledge hashtag on your own social media feeds to help spread the message.