Coronavirus relief: What athletes and team owners are doing to help healthcare workers, those in need

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The coronavirus pandemic has shut down sports across the globe as several athletes contracted COVID-19 despite leagues suspending seasons to try and stop the spread.

As athletes and team owners await a return to competition, many are helping either victims of the virus or those fighting on the front lines.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo are among those lending a helping hand without breaking social distancing guidelines.

Here is what others are doing.

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ANTHONY RIZZO, CHICAGO CUBS

Anthony Rizzo helped nurses and healthcare workers at children's hospitals in Illinois and Florida.

Anthony Rizzo helped nurses and healthcare workers at children's hospitals in Illinois and Florida. (USA Today Sports)

Anthony Rizzo gave back to health care workers. He provided hundreds of hot meals to doctors and nurses through his foundation. The Rizzo Foundation donated the food to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. by teaming up with local restaurants and vendors, according to WLS-TV.

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ARTHUR BLANK, ATLANTA FALCONS

Falcons owner Arthur Blank donated $5.4 million through his foundation. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank donated $5.4 million through his foundation. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation announced it would give nearly $5.4 million in funding for COVID-19 recovery assistance to organizations in Georgia and Montana. Blank, the owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, donated to several organizations in both states.

“As a Family Foundation we have always believed that it is the power of many that will make the greatest impact on the most pressing issues in our society,” Blank said in a statement. “This is that moment - to join together to truly harness the power of all of us to address a challenge that knows no boundaries and has no precedent in our lifetimes.”

COMMUNITIES STAGING 'BEAR HUNTS' TO ENTERTAIN KIDS DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

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DREW BREES, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Drew Brees and his wife made a serious commitment to Louisiana. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Drew Brees and his wife made a serious commitment to Louisiana. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Drew Brees announced that he and his wife were donating $5 million to the state of Louisiana to help communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Brees made the announcement in an Instagram message.

"After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together."

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JIMMY & DEE HASLAM, CLEVELAND BROWNS

Cleveland Browns co-owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam donated to help Ohio coronavirus efforts. (Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Cleveland Browns co-owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam donated to help Ohio coronavirus efforts. (Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Jimmy and Dee Haslam, the owners of the Cleveland Browns, donated $1.5 million to coronavirus relief efforts in Ohio. They gave $1 million to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and $500,000 to the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, according to FOX 8 Cleveland.

“We are humbled by the tremendous work of people around the world in their efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19 and we wanted to try to positively impact those affected in our own communities of Cleveland and Columbus,” the Haslams said in a statement. “We are grateful for the individuals who are putting others before themselves and for the sacrifices they are making.”

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JOEL EMBIID, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid donated $500,000 to medical relief. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid donated $500,000 to medical relief. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he was going to donate $500,000 to COVID-19 medical relief in order to help the community in survival and protection, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“In these trying times, I’m proud of the Sixers organization for reversing course and ‘doing a 180’. Let’s focus on beating this Coronavirus now. Let’s be responsible and Trust the Process!!” he tweeted.

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KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS, MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

Karl-Anthony Towns helped the Mayo Clinic get more test kits. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes, File)

Karl-Anthony Towns helped the Mayo Clinic get more test kits. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes, File)

Karl-Anthony Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to help get coronavirus test kits to the public.

“@MayoClinic has begun rolling out a test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19. My hope is that we can fight this virus quicker and more efficiently by increasing the testing capabilities and availability and Mayo Clinic’s overall COVID-19 response,” he tweeted.

“This is why I will be donating $100K to support these efforts. Thank you to the Mayo Clinic workers and all healthcare workers who are working around the clock to treat us. You are our heroes.

“We’re all in this together, let’s protect ourselves and the community around us.”

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KEVIN LOVE, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Kevin Love was among the first athletes to help arena workers who were left without jobs when the NBA suspended its season. Love donated $100,000 to arena and support staff of the Cavaliers.

“Through the game of basketball, we’ve been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I’m concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need — whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.”

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KRAFT FAMILY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Patriots used the team plane to retrieve masks from China. (Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports)

The Patriots used the team plane to retrieve masks from China. (Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports)

The New England Patriots answered the calls for help as Massachusetts became the latest state to struggle with supply shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Patriots team owner Robert Kraft sent the organization’s private plane to China to pick up much-needed protective equipment for medical workers in the state, according to multiple reports.

Some 1.2 million N95 masks are onboard the aircraft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was helping the students of his I Promise School in Ohio. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was helping the students of his I Promise School in Ohio. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

LeBron James helped out the students and families of his I Promise School In Akron, Ohio, with a special Taco Tuesday treat.

James, along with the “LeBron James Family Foundation," fed tacos to 340 students and their families of his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, according to USA Today.

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CLEMSON'S TREVOR LAWRENCE, GIRLFRIEND ALLOWED TO REVIVE CORONAVIRUS VICTIMS FUNDRAISER AFTER CONFUSION

MATTHEW STAFFORD, DETROIT LIONS

Matthew and Kelly Stafford helped local charities. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Matthew and Kelly Stafford helped local charities. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his family donated meals to local hospital workers. Stafford, and his wife Kelly, committed $100,000 to local charities to help local charities and school students.

"Obviously, Kelly and I feel really blessed to be in the situation we’re in," Stafford told the team's website. “Some of that comes with respect to the people who are in your community and have been having a hard go of it. This virus is affecting all people, and people in all areas.

"We’re trying to help out what is home to us, and what’s been home to us for 12 years."

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MICHAEL BIDWELL, ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona Cardinals chairman and president Michael Bidwell donated $1 million to a coronavirus relief fund organized by Gov. Doug Ducey. According to Arizona Sports, the fund help pays for protective equipment for state medical personnel, supports food banks, homeless shelters and domestic violence facilities and helps pay for technology for students in need for online classes during the crisis.

“Like so many in our community, this unprecedented crisis has us asking what we can do to help and what might have the greatest impact,” Bidwell said in a statement. “We are grateful for the creation of this relief fund, are proud to support its critically important mission and hope that others throughout the community can join this effort in whatever way that they are able.

“As a team, we will continue to work on additional ways to make a difference and know that as a community we will get through this challenging time together.”

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PETE ALONSO, NEW YORK METS

Pete Alonso, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, connected with various nurses and healthcare workers to delivers a special message thanking them for their service as they work to save victims battling COVID-19.

In a video, he addressed several hospital workers and gave each of them a special thanks.

“I just want to say thank you so much for all the time an effort that you’re putting in to this and thank you on behalf of everybody because you’re a part of a bigger picture trying to prevent this disease,” he said.

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PITTSBURGH PIRATES PLAYERS

The Pittsburgh Pirates came together as an organization to buy hundreds of pizzas and pasta for hospital workers at Allegheny General Hospital in Pennsylvania. The move helped out not only the workers on the front lines but the business that is feeling the effects of the coronavirus which has kept many people at home.

“We might not be in Pittsburgh, and we don’t have the opportunity to play in front of our fans and for all of us to be up in the city that’s kind of become a second home to us and that’s treated us so well,” Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon said in a statement. “We know local businesses are getting crushed and they’re really hurting and they’re really affected by what’s going on. Then obviously, the hospitals and the staff working on the front lines there, they’re putting in extra hours, extra work, exposing themselves.

“We thought this was a way to help. Two birds with one stone. We can help local restaurants. We can help the hospitals and the workers and show our appreciation.”

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RUSSELL WILSON, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Russell Wilson was among the first NFL stars to start jumping in and helping coronavirus relief efforts. He and his wife, Ciara, announced they would donate 1 million meals to a Seattle food bank.

“The world needs us ALL. These are unprecedented times. We are supporting our community in Seattle by donating 1 million meals with Seattle @FoodLifeLine.”

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SIMONE BILES, GYMNASTICS

Simone Biles was one of those who donated memorabilia for fans to bid with the money going to relief efforts. Stephen Curry, Shaun White and other athletes followed suit.

Biles had raised hundreds of dollars in her efforts to help those affected by the virus.

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STEPHEN CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS.

Steph and Ayesha Curry are helping communities in Oakland.

Steph and Ayesha Curry are helping communities in Oakland. (AP)

Stephen Curry, along with his wife, Ayesha, raised thousands of dollars on Facebook in a campaign for Feeding America.

“With schools closing and unemployment rising due to this national emergency, the need for accessible food is growing exponentially across the country. It takes a village and it's up to us as a nation to come together and help those in need,” the couple wrote on Facebook.

In less than a week, the Curry family raised more than $150,000 for those affected by the virus in Oakland, Calif.

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TOM BRADY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Tom Brady announced he is working to help families and communities in need as the coronavirus pandemic shakes up American households.

Brady, who recently signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he’s teamed up with Wheels Up to give 10 million meals to Feeding America.

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ZION WILLIAMSON, NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

Zion Williamson was among the first athletes to help with coronavirus relief efforts. He pledged to cover the salaries of Smoothie King Center workers during the time of crisis.

“My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days,” Williamson wrote on Instagram.

“This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.”

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ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC, AC MILAN

Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved from the LA Galaxy to AC Milan and, with Italian soccer shuttered for the foreseeable future, did his part to “kick the coronavirus away.”

His fundraiser raised thousands of dollars for Humanitas hospitals.

“Let's together kick the coronavirus away and win this match and remember, if the virus doesn't go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to

CHANDLER JONES, ARIZONA CARDINALS

The Arizona Cardinals announced that linebacker Chandler Jones would donate 150,000 meals to food banks in both Arizona and his hometown of Endicott, N.Y.

"These are really tough times [and] it is important for me to do my part and help out," the team quoted him as saying.

Fox News' Paulina Dedaj, Daniel Canova and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

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