As we’ve learned within the last few weeks, some of the most catastrophic events can help bring communities together; while Hurricane Harvey rattled Houstonians, it also helped to bring many together. And now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, retired NBA star Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs is seeking solidarity for his home island of St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With massive hurricanes wreaking havoc on islands throughout the Caribbean, Duncan reminded America how easy it is to forget the U.S. territories and the people that actually live there.
Now in his second year of retirement, Duncan has lived away from the media. But he finally spoke out in an open letter on the Players Tribune in Irma’s aftermath. In the letter, Duncan sought support for supplies, food and everything in between for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Starting off with $250,000, Duncan wrote he would match donations up to the first $1 million in hopes to have the same affect that someone like JJ Watt has had.
Tim Duncan announcing plans to head a hurricane relief mission to the Virgin Islands. pic.twitter.com/PyV30Zqbrd
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) September 10, 2017
TIM DUNCAN: "Hey, it's Tim."
All of San Antonio: pic.twitter.com/iSMBrONHXa
— Quixem Ramirez (@quixem) September 9, 2017
Tim Duncan, a good man, needs your help for his home country, the U.S. Virgin Islands. If at all possible, give what you can. They need you. https://t.co/BBArF64qIS
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) September 9, 2017
San Antonio: Just a reminder. Here’s the info for the two HEB drop off locations for donations. Today and Tuesday 7am-7pm pic.twitter.com/3jM4Y34czm
— Duncan USVI Relief (@DuncanRelief) September 11, 2017
Even getting support from his longtime teammate, Manu Ginobili.
In case you missed it last night. "Don't Forget About The Islands" by Tim Duncan. https://t.co/u5OSxMVeCp
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) September 9, 2017
In the letter, Duncan mentions he knows what something like this can do. ” I’ve lived through a hurricane before. I’ve seen its destruction. I’ve seen why getting help — immediate and sustained help — is so vital,” he wrote.
Social media and web publishing might not be everyone’s favorite tool, but it just goes to show just how easily anyone can use these tools for the greater good of a community. Tim Duncan stepping out of his comfort zone to raise awareness for his home speaks volumes about how respected he is in both the NBA community and in the Caribbean.
Let’s not forget about the Islands.