While Whitting didn’t have flooding in his house, he was unable to leave over the weekend because of treacherous waters. He wanted to be out helping, not sitting at home. But he couldn’t. It wasn’t safe, it was almost impossible and he had kids to tend to at home with his wife out of town.
So, he had an idea – get involved in other ways. UH basketball coach Kelvin Sampson put out a call to action to other college basketball programs on social media. He wanted schools to send UH any team gear they could spare, especially new shoes, to disperse throughout the community. The response was overwhelming, as Sampson’s original tweet now has over 6.2K retweets and 7.7K likes on Twitter. Whitting carried over that same approach to college baseball, and as expected, the response has been overwhelming. In addition to 100 or more Division I programs reaching out to Whitting to commit gear, some professional organizations, high schools, junior colleges, summer travel programs and some baseball-related companies also have answered the call. The baseball community, as expected, has responded in overwhelming fashion.
“Honestly, the response in baseball as a whole has been unbelievable. I think the thing that has surprised me a little is the outreach from all over the country. It’s not just the South, there’s been a desire to help from all over, including California, Connecticut, New York. It’s been from all over,” Whitting said. “I thought it was a great way to reach out and get some help. It will help lift the spirits of some people in Houston to have new t-shirts and new tennis shoes, especially when they are coming directly from a university.
“What I’m really trying to emphasize to people is that we’re looking for new shoes,” he continued. “What better way to help people who may not have anything than to give them a new pair of shoes, and shoes that came from someone who cared? That’s pretty special.”