Ex-MLB pitcher Schilling col­lect­ing Har­vey re­lief do­na­tions

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS - By Mark Pratt

For­mer ma­jor league pitcher Curt Schilling’s plan to col­lect sup­plies and cash to bring to the vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey is draw­ing crit­i­cism on so­cial me­dia from peo­ple who say do­na­tions should only go to le­git­i­mate char­i­ties.

Schilling said on Twit­ter on Wed­nes­day that he would per­son­ally drive all do­na­tions to the Hous­ton area on Fri­day and would put the money from what he’s dubbed Op­er­a­tion Bullpen “di­rectly” into the hands of peo­ple who need it most.

“I am tak­ing ALL cash di­rectly to vic­tims, per­son­ally HAND­ING it to them to guar­an­tee they get it,” Schilling said on his Twit­ter ac­count, which has 214,000 fol­low­ers.

He also said he would broad­cast his show on the con­ser­va­tive Bre­it­bart News web­site from Texas next week.

Schilling, who pitched for the Hous­ton Astros in 1991, has set up a trailer in the park­ing lot of a Med­field, Mas­sachusetts, Shaw’s su­per­mar­ket to col­lect do­na­tions. He also is ask­ing peo­ple to do­nate cash through PayPal. Bos­ton area car deal­er­ship mag­nate Ernie Boch Jr. said he has do­nated $100,000.

In re­sponse to so­cial me­dia com­menters say­ing donors should only sup­port ver­i­fied char­i­ties, Schilling tweeted: “No wor­ries man. No need to do­nate if you don’t trust where the money is go­ing.”

Schilling spent the last four years of a 20-year Ma­jor League Base­ball ca­reer in Bos­ton. While he’ll al­ways be con­sid­ered a hero for help­ing the Red Sox win their first World Se­ries in 86 years in 2004, he’s be­come a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure for his con­ser­va­tive pol­i­tics in the largely lib­eral state.

For years, he also was em­broiled in lit­i­ga­tion after se­cur­ing a $75 mil­lion loan guar­an­tee from the state of Rhode Is­land for a video game de­vel­op­ment com­pany that went bank­rupt.

Bob Ot­ten­hoff, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­ter for Dis­as­ter Phi­lan­thropy, said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day that it’s nat­u­ral for Schilling and other in­di­vid­u­als to want “to be gen­er­ous and be per­son­ally in­volved.”

“But this isn’t a mo­ment for am­a­teurs,” he said. “I’m urg­ing donors to sup­port those or­ga­ni­za­tions al­ready on the ground and that have the ex­per­tise.”

Fer­nando Martinez, a spokesman for the Mas­sachusetts Non­profit Net­work, which has 700 mem­ber or­ga­ni­za­tions, said while Schilling is “well-in­ten­tioned,” it’s best to do­nate to char­i­ties that have been prop­erly vet­ted and reg­is­tered with the IRS.

A spokes­woman for the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice, which over­sees char­i­ties, said the of­fice had no com­ment on Schilling’s ef­forts but does of­fer a “dos and don’ts” guide on char­i­ta­ble giv­ing that in­cludes check­ing with the of­fice to find out if a char­ity and its fundrais­ers are reg­is­tered to op­er­ate in the state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.