Earlier this month, the coronavirus was hitting the United States of America after months of warnings from outside of the nation. At first, COVID-19 started off as a major issue on the West Coast. Eventually, though, it began to affect the country as a whole.
At this point, many Americans around the world are urged to stay inside if they can, and social distance from others when out. In Philadelphia, specifically, many counties have ordered residents to stay indoors unless they are grabbing food, going to their 'essential' workplace, or picking up supplies for the inside of the house.
No doubt, we're dealing with tough times due to the coronavirus. Therefore, those who have the resources or the voice to help are trying to do all they can. In Philly, members of the 76ers organization are getting involved in many different ways.
Sixers' Managing Partner Josh Harris pledged to help pay for arena workers' hours for the games that will be postponed for the next couple of months. All-Star center Joel Embiid has donated $500,000 to coronavirus relief. Sixers' Limited Partner Michael Rubin switched gears at his company, Fanatics, as they are turning MLB jerseys into masks and gowns for hospital workers. Now, Ben Simmons is launching something in an effort to encourage his following to donate to essential non-profits in this time of need.
On Friday, Simmons launched "The Philly Pledge." The website is available as a one-stop-shop to link those who want to donate to two relevant organizations. Philabundance is a hunger-relief organization, and the PHL COVID-19 Fund is there to ensure "critical resources remain available for those in our community who need it most."
"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."
Simmons' latest launch warranted praise from the city's mayor, Jim Kenny. During Friday's briefing conference, Kenny mentioned Simmons. "Collectively, Ben [Simmons], these individual institutions and donors are making a simple statement," Kenny said. "We are all Philadelphians, and we need to do what is best for the residents of our city."
If you are interested, you can check out Ben Simmons' mission here.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_