Prior to the Seahawks' 2017 preseason finale, defensive end Michael Bennett announced on Instagram an effort he will undertake to provide immediate help to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which has caused massive devastation and flooding to multiple areas in Texas, Bennett's home state.
Through Bennett's foundation, The Bennett Foundation, he will contribute $25,000 worth of food, water, and essential relief items to those in need to be delivered to flood victims currently housed in temporary, emergency shelters at Alief Taylor High School, Bennett's alma mater. The Seahawks will support Bennett's effort with an additional $50,000, resulting in $75,000 worth of critical aid to come to the Houston-area shelter as soon as possible over the next few days.
"Me and my wife Pele Bennett are both from Houston, my family's from Houston, I grew up in Houston and I'm devastated by the hurricane right now," Bennett said in his Instagram post. "Seeing friends and family as I watch T.V. and hear messages of things that are going on, and I want a way to find a way to make an impact to give back to the community through Houston local organizations, from shelters and people who are really affected and give them those things to them that they need."
The Seahawks donation represents the start of an ongoing hurricane relief endeavor by the club. Seattle will hold a gate drive during its regular-season opener on Sunday, September 17 at CenturyLink Field, where volunteers will collect cash donations at various gates, along Occidental Avenue, and throughout the stadium.
"That means everything to have an organization that believes in you and then believes in your city, an organization that believes in the community," Bennett said during an in-game interview on Q13 FOX of the Seahawks' support. "We're that organization, and I'm lucky to have great leadership around me from Pete Carroll to Peter McLoughlin to Paul Allen, to be able to have everybody helping us, it's super exciting."
To join Bennett in making a more urgent impact, 12s are encouraged to give $10 toward relief efforts by texting 'HARVEY' to 90999, or by visiting redcross.org.
"I think through tragic events, people come together, and right now everybody is coming together," Bennett added. "To see no matter where people are from, their job, what school they went to, everybody is working together to save the city and find ways to contribute in positive ways. That's the greatest thing about the people right now within the city, they're showing hope and showing resilience through such a tragic time."
The Seahawks have 14 players on their roster from Texas, with four hailing from areas directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including Bennett, offensive linemen Joey Hunt and Germain Ifedi, as well as free safety Earl Thomas.