Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports:

The devastating floods that wreaked havoc throughout Australia have slowly disappeared from the daily news cycle, but Patty Mills’ efforts to raise money and awareness about the plight of his homeland is just hitting its stride.

Mills teamed with the Blazers to raise nearly $5,700 through a variety of fund-raising efforts in January. Now, through a grass roots campaign to sell T-shirts that Mills helped create, the Australian point guard has set a new goal of raising $50,000 to aid his battered country.

“When you’re on the other side of the world, when you’re far away from your family and friends, you really feel helpless,” Mills said. “So I’m trying to do all I can to help out.”

Mills came up with the idea to sell T-shirts with friend Josh Unruh, a former South Salem and St. Mary’s basketball player who owns a T-shirt company ( that raises money for charities. Mills designed the shirt and the two made an initial batch of about 300 to sell at a women’s basketball game at St. Mary’s during the NBA All-Star break.

The shirts sold out.

“So we made some more,” Mills said. “We’ve just been getting batch after batch because they just keep going out.”