MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota athletes are asking fans to help raise money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
In a joint effort with the Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier tweeted a video on Wednesday, asking fans to help with their campaign to help those in Houston and the Texas gulf coast.
"It kills me to see everything that's going on in Houston with the hurricane," he says in a video posted to Twitter. "And it kills me, even more, knowing that I cannot be there physically to help."
The Twins set up an account on youcaring.com, where the donations will be sent to The American Red Cross for relief efforts, and Dozier sparked the giving with a $10,000 personal donation.
"Anything, and I mean anything, helps," he says.
Dozier's teammate and Houston native, Tyler Duffey, also tweeted the link, asking for local support.
Duffey told KARE 11 on Tuesday that he has a home in Houston, but that his concern is for friends and many others uprooted by the water.
"I actually don't know the actual situation at my place. I think I'll be okay," Duffey said. "You see it all happening and we're here in Minnesota, so far away from home and (helping raise money) is just the least we can do, so we've got everyone trying to rally together and do as much as we can for the people back home."
Outfielder Robbie Grossman is also a Houston native.
"It's tough, especially being away," Grossman said. "The only thing you can do is make a phone call and talk to your friends and your family back home and just hope and pray that they're okay."
The Twins are also auctioning off a number of autographed, game-worn cleats and jerseys with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Dozier tells KARE 11 that he and other players have promised to match the money raised via the auction.
Several other Minnesota professional teams are also beginning to announce plans to help with relief. The Minnesota United has also added a link to the American Red Cross fundraising page via its website.
The Timberwolves and Lynx are part of a million dollar gift made on behalf of NBA and WNBA teams.
The Minnesota Wild have announced that American Red Cross volunteers will be on hand to collect donations during its games on Sept. 21, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 14.
Many local college athletic departments, including St. John's, University of Minnesota Duluth, South Dakota State and Concordia College in Moorhead have also sent clothing and shoes to the University of Houston men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson. Shortly after the storm, Sampson sent a tweet requesting the items in order to help attract items for evacuees. Within days the request has generated donations from colleges across the country.
The University of Minnesota men's and women's basketball teams sent items to coach Sampson on Monday, and now the University of Minnesota Student Athlete Advisory Committee is organizing yet another, bigger donation on behalf of many student athletes.
"We feel like it was kind of our duty to step up and help out in their time of need," said Tijani Karaborni, a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
A spokesperson with the Minnesota Vikings tells KARE11 that the team is finalizing its plans, and will reveal details prior to the home preseason game on Thursday.
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