Team Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund And 'Virtual Resource Center'

by Casey Holdahl
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With the COVID-19 outbreak shuttering the NBA for at least the next two months, the first goal for Jody Allen, the players and the Trail Blazers as an organization was to make sure arena employees losing income due to lost games would receive some assistance.

So after working through the details, the team announced last week that Allen, the players and the team were committing more that $1.4 million toward relief efforts, with part of those donations going to pay employees for nine postponed Trail Blazers games.

Now, the team is turning their attention to the community.

The organization announced on Monday the creation of a COVID-19 relief fund with the goal of supporting local non-profits impacted by the pandemic. Some of the donations will also be used to support the Oregon Community Foundation’s COVID-10 Pooled Fund, which is doling out resources for community-based organizations that are already confronting the outbreak and its economic repercussions.

The efforts of the Trail Blazers are a part of the NBA’s “NBA Together” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about prevention of COVID-19 while also raising money for those effected by the pandemic. More than $35 million of a $50 million goal has already been donated by NBA and WNBA teams and players.

But while raising money to combat the spread of COVID-19 and support those effected by closures and cancellations is incredibly important, funds alone are not enough to help those coping with both the virus and the issues associated with social distancing and quarantines. So to help put the community in touch with various services ranging from free food for kids while schools are closed to online adult education courses, the team has created a virtual resources center which has links to over 100 nonprofits, businesses and governmental organizations providing both services and assistance accessing services during the outbreak.

For those struggling to make ends meet, there’s information about financial assistance from places likes the City of Portland’s Water Bureau, Human Solutions and St. Vincent de Paul. Trying to figure out how to entertain the kids while working from home? There are links to online videos and workouts from Beaverton Hoop YMCA, free educational resources from EVERFI and Education.com and access to free laptops and computers for K-12 students from Free Geek. Local restaurants such as Canard, Laughing Planet, Grain & Gristles and Güero are just a few of the places offering free food to students during school closures. And for those struggling with being cooped up indoors, CorePower Yoga, Bare3 and BurnMVMT are offering free online classes, Headspace is making their meditations available at no cost and Simple Habit is offering Self Care Plans.

Members of the community are encouraged to submit services and resources to be included on the Resource Center. Those who are able can also go to trailblazers.com/donate to support the Trail Blazers Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund.

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