In Dime #64, we wrote about Portland Trail Blazers guard Patty Mills‘ best assist yet â€” his “Assist Australia” campiagn that raised funds through t-shirt sales for victims of flooding from Tropical Cyclone Yasi, primarily in his home state, Queensland.
Today, a second chapter of the campaign unfolds. Mills is scheduled to present a $40,000 check before the Melbourne Tigers (his current team) play the Perth Wildcats, to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. Should you be reading this Down Under, Mills will present the check at 7:25 p.m. local time.
The t-shirts are more about connections than cotton. As Mills said in the spring, they are the vehicle to get people talking about how to help the victims. Each shirt came with code for a website that became a forum for the wearers to talk about solutions or basketball. Mills promoted the shirts with help from Blazers teammates, such as Wes Matthews and Nicolas Batum, who signed autographs and took pictures for several hours before an Oregon women’s basketball game last winter, among other stops.
“The disasters that took place in my homeland have weighed heavy on my heart and I want to do all I can to help,” said Mills. “My goal is to raise at least $50,000 USD for relief efforts.”
Mills’ effort is part of a massive relief operation. In October, the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal announced more than $276 million has been paid out to over 40,000 people with more donations, such as Mills’, still arriving.
“From the devastation, stories of this amazing spirit emerge – from armies of volunteers taking to the streets and offers of help from strangers, to stories of bravery and self-sacrifice,” said Queensland Premier Anna Bligh in an October report. “As we have grieved for what we’ve lost, fellow Queenslanders and Australians alike have wrapped their arms around us.”
Mills isn’t quite done. To reach $50,000, he’s come up with another design, named “Ambush Army” that sells for $25 on wearsmyshirt.com. Like the first design, the shirt comes with a social sidenote: a photo contest with the shirt will win a signed game jersey, shorts and shoes by Mills.
Find out more about Mills’ newest design HERE.
Read more about the Australian floods relief effort HERE.
What do you think?
Follow Andrew on Twitter at @andrewgreif.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.