Daily Sports Smile: Saints, Pelicans hold tornado relief drive in New Orleans community

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

The New Orleans community came together in the aftermath of devastating tornadoes this week. On Friday, the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans held a joint tornado relief drive for residents impacted by the dangerous storms.

The teams held the special donation at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Many residents were encouraged to donate a list of items that included cleaning supplies, gloves, tarps, shovels and protective eyewear. Non-perishable food items were also accepted for those in need.

This week, tornadoes struck the New Orleans community. According to preliminary results from the National Weather Service, a likely EF-3 tornado was spotted on the ground. The powerful storm hit St. Benard Parish, the Lower Ninth Ward and surrounding counties in the greater New Orleans area.  

Both the Saints and Pelicans sprang into action. The organizations teamed with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and local news station WDSU News 6 for the tornado relief drive. Altogether, the group were able to stuff two trucks full of supplies.

"It’s important for us to give back," Pelicans VP of Basketball Operations Swin Cash told WDSU. "The one thing I felt when I first got here to New Orleans is the love and community. So, any time something happens to one of our brothers or sisters, we have to show up."

Cash noted that many players were eager to help. Pelicans forwards Herb Jones, Naji Marshall and Trey Murphy III were on hand. They were joined by Saints head coach Dennis Allen and defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon in the community efforts.

"We are just trying to help some people in need," Jones said. "We are going to give them some stuff to help out as much as we can."

Fans can still help with the tornado relief efforts. Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans has offered ways to get involved by donating monetarily to the community in need.

"We kind of got an obligation, when we live in this area, to take care of each other," Allen told WDSU. "I would just encourage everyone that can to get out and support. I think this is a great cause right here. This is one of the small things we can do to help people out."