Drew Brees to donate $1 million to Hurricane Sandy relief
In the weeks since Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the mid-Atlantic coastline, some sports organizations have stepped up to the plate to pitch in for hurricane relief. The New York Yankees pledged $500,000 to the Red Cross relief efforts, and the New York Mets donated $100,000 through the New York Daily News disaster relief fund. MLB, the NBA and the NFL teamed up to donate a total of $3 million to the victims of the hurricane.
But New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is about to put all of those organizations to shame. Brees said in an interview with CBS that he will be donating $1 million through his Dream Foundation to help victims of the storm. That’s as much as one professional sports league alone.
Brees is no stranger to the damage hurricanes can cause. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans. The city’s NFL team, the Saints, did not play a single game in New Orleans during the 2005 due to damage to their home stadium, the Superdome. Brees was playing for the San Diego Chargers at the time, but he signed with the Saints before the 2006 season – a time when no one wanted to play for one of the NFL’s worst teams in a city that was still struggling to recover from a natural disaster.
Brees blossomed in the Crescent City, and he brightened the life of the community around him both by his play on the field (he was a large part of the reason the team once known as the “Aints” went on to win the Super Bowl in 2010) and his charity work off the field.
In 2007, Brees partnered with Operation Kids to rebuild the schools, parks, playgrounds athletic centers and after-school tutoring and mentoring programs wrecked by the hurricane and poverty in the area. His work with the charity quickly made him a fan favorite and caused many in the New Orleans area to see him as a savior that helped them recover from one of the deadliest hurricanes this country has ever seen.
Brees does not have any obvious ties to the mid-Atlantic region. He was born in Texas, went to college at Purdue in Indiana and played professional football in California and Louisiana. Rather, Brees’s donation to the Sandy relief effort seems to simply be a result of his experience with hurricane relief and the kindness of his heart.
For that, no matter which team or which quarterback is your favorite, Brees truly stands as a role model to us all.