ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Josh Norman doesn’t believe enough attention is being paid to the situation hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and is trying to change that.
The Washington Redskins cornerback is donating $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Puerto Rico and wants to convince other athletes, celebrities, corporations and foundations to donate another $200,000. That’s a much smaller scale than the $37 million that Texans defensive end raised for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston, but Norman said the crisis in Puerto Rico shouldn’t be ignored just because it’s further away.
“That’s why I really took up arms and started to do it because they’re ignored so much it’s like it’s not a part of us, in a way,” Norman told The Associated Press on Thursday. “I just feel like they’re a part of (the United States) and we need to go over there and give as much support and help as you would if they were right next door to you in your neighborhood. You have to, man. It’s only right.”
Norman has secured clothing donations from Adidas and plans for the money to be used provide toiletries, clothing and other supplies for the 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Puerto Rico. Norman doesn’t have family members in Puerto Rico but is organizing an aid visit after the NFL season is over.
Much of Puerto Rico remains without power and 15 percent has no running water more than a month after Hurricane Maria. It is the longest blackout in U.S. history, and officials have said the overall hurricane damage could range from $45 billion to $95 billion.
Watt originally sought to raise $200,000 for Houston but was overwhelmed by donations. He said the money will go toward rebuilding child-care centers and homes and providing food and health care to those affected by the storm.
Norman said he isn’t trying to compare what he’s doing for the U.S. territory of 3.4 million people to what Watt did.
“I was happy for him and what he was able to do and raise the money for Houston because the city really needed it,” Norman said. “Big respect to anybody who goes out and helps someone else to try to better themselves in life and try to help out their situations from a struggle. You’ve got to tip your hats off to that man. … That was big time. I’m just trying to do it on another level.”