'I lived through it': Tim Duncan paying it forward with Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Duncan amazed with tremendous response from San Antonio community

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Uprooted trees, toppled boats, roofless homes -- Hurricane Irma completely decimated parts of the Virgin Islands; a scene all too familiar for San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan, who survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

"I lived through it," Duncan said. "I know at some point somebody was doing this for me. I don't know who it was, but they did it for me. I can do it now -- I can be that guy, so why not do it?"

Duncan stopped by the San Antonio Food Bank on Sunday to get the word out about drop off times for material donations and his plan to charter planes of supplies to the Virgin Islands to help those impacted by Irma.

Watch the full interview:

"San Antonio has the opportunity to respond," San Antonio Food Bank President and CEO Eric Cooper said. "We know we were spared from Hurricane Harvey so that we could respond as Hurricane Irma has affected the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, we have the opportunity to rally around Tim to make sure people get those basic necessities of life."

Duncan has set up two H-E-B locations to accept material donations following Irma. Donation collection sites will be open on Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • H-E-B at 17238 Bulverde Road

  • H-E-B at 4100 South New Braunfels Avenue

Cooper said there is a need for the following items and said there is currently NO need for water: Non-perishable food items (flour, rice, beans) Detergent, powder soaps, bar soaps, peanut butter, granola bars.

Duncan penned a heartfelt column in the Player's Tribune on Friday, specifically noting his memory of living off of donations from others:

Chef Boyardee was my guy. A distribution center was set up in our neighborhood, and cans of Chef Boyardee were some of the only meals available to us. Tang was a treat, as well, if they had it in the latest shipment — we’d boil water to make sure it was clean, and then mix in the Tang powder.

So this week I’ve been thinking a lot about those cans. Because they were a godsend. They were like magic to me. Someone had sent them — I don’t know who, or what organization, but someone had sent them. And I was so happy and grateful. Not because I loved them — I’ve probably haven’t had Chef Boyardee since — but because that food was a necessity. It got us through.

Duncan is still accepting monetary donations through his You Caring donation site and has agreed to match the first $1 million in donations. 


As of Sunday, the page was near its $1.25 million goal.

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