Tag Archives: MLB

Sports Leagues Give Americans Something to be Thankful For.

Football and Thanksgiving go hand in hand in this country.   But for the last several years, teams and athletes across all the major US sports leagues  have given families in cities nationwide something to celebrate and be thankful for… even more than just a W on the playing field.

Power Plays around the NHL

Since 1992, the Penguins have hosted annual food drives to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as part of the team’s Score Against Hunger initiative.  This past Thursday, the Pens visited Bedford Hope Center in the Hill District to hand out turkeys, vegetables and other complements to local families in need, bringing an early happy Thanksgiving to several members of their community. 

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Last season, New York Rangers alumni and staff partnered with Life Center; a Lower East Side shelter; to provide a special Thanksgiving dinner for 350 children and families who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

MLB Pitches In

This year, the LA Dodgers went above and beyond.  Now in its 9th year, the Dodgers annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway tripled the number of meals it provided, giving over 2,000 local families the makings of  a perfect Thanksgiving meal.

 

Slam Dunks across the NBA

Today marked the 15th year of the Utah Jazz We Care – We Share Thanksgiving dinner, where players, coaches, executives and employees,  helped serve more than 3,600 homeless and low-income guests a warm meal.  Along with a generous early Thanksgiving dinner, the Jazz also distributed winter clothing items and set up a play area and activities for the children.

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David and Lesley West of the Indiana Pacers sponsored this year’s Come to Our House Thanksgiving dinner held at the Pacers’ home at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  More than 650 men, women and children from central Indiana shelters enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal shared with the Pacers family in the event’s 16th year.

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Former NFL Player Takes it to the House

For the last 16 years, former Falcon Warrick Dunn has given families in multiple US cities the gift of homeownership. Homes for the Holidays was founded 1997 under the umbrella of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers community initiatives during Warrick’s first year in the NFL. The program has  expanded tremendously since its inception, awarding its 129th home to a New Jersey family this month.

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When people talk about the power of sport, they’re really describing a potential to use a game– any game– to capture the hearts and minds of people and make a difference in their lives.  There’s no limit on what that difference can be.  The sports community has had a tremendous impact on fans and families nationwide, from lifting spirits with simple acts of kindness to putting the seemingly unattainable within reach, and giving us all a reason to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Joining the Ranks: MLB Fights Cancer with Stand Up Stadiums

Ok so it’s been awhile… and for that I apologize… BUT I’ve discovered a new project that just launched in the sports philanthropy space that I think is absolutely AMAZING!

The MLB has partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s initiative called Stand Up to Cancer in an effort to integrate sports fans into the fight against cancer by raising money for research. How are they doing it? Stand Up Stadiums!

Fans of all 30 MLB team can log on to MLB.com and purchase a seat, suite, base, or pitcher’s mound in their favorite team’s virtual stadium. Contributors may also include a dedication message, honoring a friend or loved one of their choice. Minimum contributions range from $5 to $500, but fans are able to contribute as much as they’d like, all for the sake of accelerating groundbreaking cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives.

This new initiative is one that has the potential to create a tremendous impact not only for the sake of cancer research, but also for other causes that sports properties may choose to support down the road.  The innovation behind the concept of Stand Up Stadiums is something that more leagues and sports organizations need to harness in order to truly have an impact.  Because much of the sports industry is fragmented and lacks collaboration among constituents, philanthropic efforts rarely yield the impact originally envisioned.  However, efforts like Stand Up Stadiums that are able to harness the collective energy and goodwill of every team in the league and the millions of fans who support each one, can create a tremendous impact and make huge strides in raising funds, awareness and support for any cause that is selected.  When it comes to social impact, collaboration is the key; especially in the sports industry, the more each part works together, the greater good can be accomplished through the intense momentum that will inevitably build with each new cause that is supported and each new project that is undertaken.

Stand Up Stadiums is an innovative way to engage all baseball fans, uniting them in an effort to combat a disease that affects over 11 million Americans today. I’m excited to see how much of an impact Major League Baseball will have with its new initiative, and I hope to see more leagues unite and take action to create sustained social impact such as this.

Learn more about Stand Up Stadiums at MLB.com! Here’s the link: MLB.com Stand Up Stadiums