Phoenix Suns player Deandre Ayton hosted a donation drive in Central Phoenix Tuesday evening to support those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
Ayton, who is a Nassau, Bahamas native, said in a Twitter post Friday that after confirming the safety of his friends and family “back home,” he pledged to donate $100,000 to relief efforts in the affected areas.
“The damage back home is devastating and my heart goes out to my fellow Bahamians as we deal with the effects of Hurricane Dorian,” Ayton said in the post.
Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall in the Bahamas on Sept. 1, also struck the Virgin Islands, North Carolina and most recently far-eastern Canada on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
A Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency spokesperson said there are about 2,500 people missing, but that number is expected to drop as the names are cross-referenced with evacuees and those in shelters, AP reported.
The death toll is currently at 50, and many are still in need of relief efforts.
The donation drive hosted by Ayton, his family and Suns team members was held at the Fry’s Food Store on 20th Street and Camelback Road on Tuesday, according to a news release.
Mychael Ramirez, business communications coordinator for the Phoenix Suns, said there was an outpouring of support from Suns fans, Phoenix residents and the grocery store.
“It was awesome to see the overwhelming support from the greater Phoenix area,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said the drive received many items like canned goods, medical supplies and an enormous amount of water, including an entire pallet donated by Fry’s Food Stores.
He said there were also mobile tablets set up for those who wished to provide monetary donations, and contributions can still be made through the team’s partnership with UNICEF.
Ramirez said it was heartwarming to see the amount of people that came, not just to get photos with the players, but out of the kindness of their hearts and showing how the “power of sports bring(s) people together in time of need.”
“We are overwhelmed and thankful of everyone that turned out for the event,” Ramirez said.
Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix-breaking/2019/09/11/phoenix-suns-deandre-ayton-hosts-donation-drive-dorian-relief-efforts/2290089001/