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April 02, 2020

Sixers' Al Horford to donate $500,000 to COVID-19 relief

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4_AL_Horford_Sixers_76ersvsCeltics_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

So long, Al Horford.

Sixers big man Al Horford committed to donating $500,000 to aid COVID-19 relief on Thursday afternoon, targeted at his native Domincan Republic in addition to areas in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Boston, and Philadelphia where he has played throughout his basketball career. That's the word according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Horford joins his teammate Joel Embiid, who pledged to donate $500,000 of his own money to COVID-19 relief efforts late last week, in the fight against coronavirus. Embiid's donation came bundled with a commitment to supporting at-will Sixers employees who were impacted by the threat of salary reductions, but the Sixers reversed course on the reductions on March 24th following immense public pressure.

In the days since Sixers ownership changed their minds on that decision, Joshua Harris and David Blitzer have made donations to a number of charitable causes around the Philadelphia area. Early this week, Harris and Blitzer made a six-figure donation to Philabundance to provide meals to 160,000 people, and the city of Philadelphia announced during their daily COVID-19 press conference that Harris and Blitzer had committed a seven-figure donation to provide 10,000 Chromebook laptops for students in the Philadelphia School District.

"We are ecstatic to learn that the Sixers are helping our students get computers in their homes so they can continue to learn during what is an unprecedented time for all of hus, " Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement Monday. "Our hometown team has come through in such an amazing way proving that they are the true MVPs. I know I speak for our students, families, and staff when I thank them for their generosity."

On Thursday morning, it was announced that Harris and Blitzer's most recent donations were six-figure contributions to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Cooper University's COVID-19 Assistance Fund. Harris and Blitzer's donation to CHOP was made to help provide telemedicine to children in need during the COVID-19 outbreak, allowing doctors to check in with patients and diagnose them remotely, with the funds allowing CHOP doctors to make an estimated 5,000 remote visits with children per week.

"The funds from this generous donation ensure that we can fulfill our mission of providing high-quality healthcare for all children, in all circumstances," CHOP CEO Madeline Bell said in a statement. "Thank you to Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and the entire 76ers organization for thinking of us as we navigate these unchartered waters and support the families of our community.”

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