Late last week, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons stepped up and made it clear he was doing all he could to help the City of Philadelphia as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise. His first order of business was to seek out verified non-profit organizations around the city, which could help those in need during this time.
Simmons' research led him to two companies -- Philabundance and PHL COVID-19 Response. As they are both non-profit organizations, which could help the less fortunate during the COVID-19 pandemic, Simmons has come up with a way to promote both, Philabundance and PHL COVID-19 Response.
That's when 'The Philly Pledge' was created. Last Friday, Simmons introduced Philadelphia to his latest project. The Philly Pledge is a website that makes it easy for those who want to donate to COVID-19 relief, but aren't sure which non-profits they should send money to.
"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' 'Philly Pledge' project has been promoted by many of Philly's sports stars who play for not only the Sixers, but also the Flyers, Phillies, and Eagles as well. The effort by the Sixers' star surely hasn't gone unnoticed as he was mentioned in the Mayor's Friday briefing last week. Also, the pledge encouraged Sixers' Managing Partner Josh Harris to make a generous donation and even warranted some heavy praise from the team's limited partner, Michael Rubin.
"Proud of my guy [Ben Simmons] for launching The Philly Pledge!!" Rubin wrote on his Twitter account. "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 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 and his Fanatics company have shifted gears and turned the production of baseball jerseys into a bunch of masks and gowns for healthcare workers. The Sixers might've been under fire for some of their potential decisions earlier last week -- but since then, the franchise has redeemed itself with many of their members' moves.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_