Hurricane Irma: Oakland Athletics P Jharel Cotton starts fundraiser for hometown of St. Thomas

By Alex Butler   |   Updated Sept. 11, 2017 at 4:27 PM
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Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Pitcher Jharel Cotton has donated $5,000 to his own GoFundMe campaign, created to aid those in need of relief in St. Thomas following Hurricane Irma.

Cotton, who plays for the Oakland Athletics, plans to return to the islands after the season to help rebuild.

"As all of you know, Hurricane Irma has left many of the Caribbean Islands in total devastation after hitting them as a category 5 hurricane and is continuing its path of destruction," Cotton wrote in the GoFundMe description.

"Irma has left my home land of ST. Thomas, USVI and Tortola, BVI the homeland of many of my family, in ruin. I have donated 5k immediately to aid the relief efforts in the Virgin Islands and plan on returning to the Islands at the conclusion of the season to help rebuild. I now turn and ask all of you to please help in anyway that you feel you can by donating along with me. Thank you for your generosity and God bless."

Cotton's initiative has been shared more the 200 times on Facebook. More than 40 people had donated to the campaign as of Monday afternoon, contributing $9,445 of its $50,000 goal.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this image of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose Wednesday over the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Irma was elevated to a category 5 storm on Tuesday morning. Photo courtesy of NASA/UPI

The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher owns a 7-10 record with a 5.82 ERA in 22 starts this season for the Athletics. He posted a 2-0 mark with a 2.15 ERA in five starts last season. Cotton allowed seven runs and three home runs on Friday in a 9-8 win against the Houston Astros.

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