June 2020

Current, former Buckeyes aid Covid-19 relief efforts

Courtesy of ABC6
June 26, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — As coaches and athletes from around the world have come together to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, so too have current and former Ohio State Buckeyes and members of the athletic department.

Utah Jazz All-Star Mike Conley gave $200,000 to organizations in five different communities that have personal connections to his life. His donations were distributed to the Utah Food Bank, CodeCrew in Memphis, Community Shelter Board and the Columbus Urban League, the Indianapolis Public Schools Foundation in Indianapolis and the New Haven Missionary Baptist Church in Arkansas.

Conley’s donations addressed critical needs in those communities including food insecurity, remote learning and homelessness.

Former Buckeye and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit partnered with Knowledge is Power Progam (KIPP) Columbus to help local families experiencing hardships during the pandemic. He also donated money to help pay their expenses for three months.

Herbstreit’s gift of $100,000 supported 60 students at the school and their families.

Former Buckeye and current Cincinnati Bengal Sam Hubbard has partnered with the Freestone Foodbank and to date, has raised more than $86,000, which will provide about 250,000 meals for those in need.

With the help of Bengals ownership, Hubbard’s effort resulted in more than $56,000 raised over the course of just three days.

Denzel Ward, who was teammates with Hubbard at Ohio State, helped 21 people and small businesses that need assistance by paying for their largest monthly expense.

Those in need of Ward’s assistance registered through his foundation – Make Them Know Your Name – and he personally called them to deliver the news. More than 1,000 applications were received in just 48 hours.

National Championship-winning quarterback Cardale Jones has become a spokesman for a subscription-based company that delivers PPE to customers’ doorsteps. The supplies include masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and cell phone covers.

Former Buckeye Chris Spielman auctioned off personal gear and memorabilia and raised $40,000. His plan is to give away $1,000 a week for 40 weeks to help those in financial need.

The largest single auction piece was his 1984 Big Ten championship ring, which sold for $12,000. His 1986 Big Ten championship ring went for $6,200.

Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas partnered with RIP Medical Debt to relieve more than $2 million in medical bills for more than 1,000 New Orleans-area residents.

That came just a month after he partnered with Raising Cane’s and donated more than 3,000 meals for frontline workers in Louisiana.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and his wife, Shelia, head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, and head basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his wife, Lori, teamed up in donating $35,000 per month between April and August to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s Emergency Fund.

The gift will total $175,000.

By Jarrod Clay

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