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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thompson asks for help to aide American Samoa

JACK THOMPSON, WSU's legendary Throwin Samoan, is doing his part to help his native homeland, American Samoa, recover after an 8.0 earthquake and tsunami rocked this island just weeks ago. In the village of Alao where Jack was born, damage was relatively minimal - the house he helped to build for his grandparents still stands. However, the homes of some of his cousins were among those washed away.

His immediate family, aunts, uncles and cousins are fine. Many other villages were not as fortunate -- schools,churches, homes, businesses are completely gone -- and lives tragically lost.

"I was just in Samoa a few months ago for a football clinic that served over 500 kids," said one-time NCAA record-setter whose son Tony currently plays for the Cougs. "It was good to be back home - its a beautiful place. It's hard to imagine the kind of devastation that has happened and even more so,the kind of effort it is going to take to heal and rebuild."

Thompson is partnering with the renown humanitarian agency, World Vision, to raise resources for the recovery effort in the wake of this disaster.

His sister Lina, also a WSU alum (1983), works for World Vision and was part of the organization's team deployed to American Samoa just days after the disaster.

"What I saw was both overwhelming and heartbreaking," she says. "I am grateful for the chance to help and also to work with my brother to do whatever we can."

Jack is inviting the support of Cougars everywhere to join them in this effort. This Saturday at Martin Stadium, Coug fans will be asked to" Fill the Helmet" on their way into the game.

Volunteers will be outside the stadium collecting donations. This event will raise awareness and dollars to aid in the recovery and rebuilding of lives and homes in American Samoa.

If you aren't in Pullman for Dad's weekend and the UCLA game, you can still help. Click to WORLD VISION RESPONDS and it will take you right to the World Vision donation page.

Every dollar will be spent toward this effort. Jack says, "I am proud to be Samoan. I am also proud to be a Coug. It is a privilege to ask Cougar friends, the Cougar Nation, to be a part of helping to rebuild American Samoa through the work of World Vision.

"Thank you in advance for your support in helping to bring aid to my islandhome."

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. "We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender," says Lina Thompson.

For more information, visit

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