Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra was focusing on more than basketball after practice this morning. His mother and other family members in Manila were unharmed by the Typhoon Haiyan, which wiped out other areas and killed thousands. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez reports.
Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra was focusing on more than basketball after practice this morning.
"It's absolutely terrible and tragic what's going on over there. It's dear to my heart I have family over there. We're just trying to send our thoughts our prayers," said Spoelstra
His mother and other family members in Manila were unharmed by the Typhoon Haiyan, which wiped out other areas and killed thousands.
Spoelstra has spent the last four out of five summers hosting basketball clinics in the Philippines, reaching out to underprivileged children through the NBA Cares program. Now the NBA has pledged a quarter of a million dollars for relief efforts .
"It's very close and near and dear to Spo and we all support him," said Dwyane Wade.
"We're sending out prayers and compassion to everybody in the Philippines," said Chris Bosh.
Spoelstra will appear in a public service announcement for UNICEF to help raise funds children in need.
"This is the absolute least I can do. You feel helpless, want to be able to do more," said Spoelstra.
Normally closed on Veteran's Day, the Broward Chapter of the Red Cross was open today to answer calls from people wanting to help.
The Red Cross is trying to get the message out that while some want to donate clothes and food, the distance and need is too great. They are asking for money to help purchase supplies in large quantities from companies that are closer to the damaged areas.
"The folks that are there American Red Cross personnel reporting back already are just finding it unbelievable. There is so much damage it's beyond the scope of what we've seen in America. We've see Katrina we've seen Andrew and those are both horrific disaster for American but this 5 times worse maybe ten times worse" said Hugh Quinn, interim CEO for the Miami-Dade/Monroe chapter.
To donate go to RedCross.org or call 1-800-RedCross. They have not yet set up a text message donation system for this natural disaster.
To donate to the relief effort for children that Spoelstra is supporting go to unicefusa.org.