Australia has recently been ravaged by a rash of bushfires that have sent resident and animals fleeing in recent weeks. According to a report from CBS News, nearly half a billion animals and plants have been lost while 12.4 million acres have been burned throughout the country.
With the devastation running rampant, 9 Australian NBA players have partnered with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the NBA to donate $750,000 that will go towards relief and recovery efforts throughout the country. Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Aron Baynes (Phoenix Suns), Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks), Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum (Cleveland Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons) and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) are the players that will be donating to the cause.
Those players will work to help provide support to different organization throughout Australia and help aid immediate relief efforts and long-term rebuilding projects.
"We are heartbroken over the devastation these fires are causing all across our homeland," the players said in a joint statement. "Our thoughts are with our families, friends and all of the people of Australia. We hope you feel our love and support and know that we will continue to bring awareness to this crisis globally and provide assistance in any way we can."
Simmons expressed sorrow over what is going on in his home country last week. He also revealed that he was speaking with fellow NBA players from Australia to see what they could do to provide relief.
The Sixers star forward took to Twitter once again following the donation announcement and is proud what his NBA brethren were able to accomplish.
"Our players have a deep connection to the places where they grew up and have always responded with generosity and compassion in the aftermath of disasters," executive director of the NBPA Foundation Sherrie Deans said. "The Foundation's board is committed to extending our long-standing support of players' financial contributions in response to disasters through this joint effort."
Firefighters continue to battle the nearly 200 bushfires that are burning across southeast Australia. According to CBS News, more than 1,400 homes have been destroyed and at least 23 people have been killed.