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Friday, January 15, 2010
NFL, union contributing to relief efforts

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The NFL and the players' union are contributing $1 million toward relief efforts in Haiti.

The American Red Cross and Partners In Health will receive $500,000 each.

The NFL and its network broadcast partners will also run messages before and during this weekend's playoff games to promote donations for the earthquake-battered country. The public service announcements will drive viewers to the Red Cross Web site and feature New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and San Diego Chargers defensive end Jacques Cesaire. Both players have Haitian parents.

The Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's earthquake.

In addition, NFL owners and players are making personal donations. The Washington Redskins are joining Diageo, one of the team's business partners, to fly medical supplies, personnel and clothing to Haiti.

"We're not a relief organization, but there are times when our resources allow us to step in and make a difference, if only a small one," Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said Friday.

"Diageo has been involved in relief efforts around the world for many years, and we're fortunate to be able to partner with them. Getting the right people and supplies to Haiti is critically important, and we're providing our best resources," he said.

So are Alonzo Mourning and Hendrick Motorsports.

Former NBA star Mourning flew to Haiti to assist relief workers in Port-au-Prince. He's joining Dwyane Wade and other pro athletes in raising funds for the recovery.

The Miami Heat also announced plans to send money and supplies, and the team asked fans to give donations in exchange for ticket vouchers to games.

Hendrick Motorsports loaned a 45-passenger plane to Missionary Flights International, which will send support teams in and out of Port-au-Prince. The first flight is scheduled to leave Fort Pierce, Fla., on Saturday and will take 30 passengers and medical supplies into Haiti.

Rick Hendrick, who owns the NASCAR team, is covering all costs of the flights.