LOS ANGELES - There’s nothing better than the smiles on the faces of children to make you feel good.
The Dodgers Foundation is, you might say, in the smile business.
Since 1995, the Foundation has been helping people throughout the greater LA area with food giveaways, shoes, clothing, building baseball fields, teaching baseball and softball, mentoring programs... the list goes on!
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Nichol Whiteman, told me, "the essence of this is to tackle the most pressing problems facing some of the most challenged communities in Los Angeles. Our vision is every Angeleno regardless of neighborhood or zip code should have the opportunity to thrive."
I spent a bit of time on Friday at Friends of the Children, a nonprofit mentoring group dedicated to helping young people who are in foster care, or may become foster children or may be ‘’impacted’’ by the system.
200 pairs of shoes were donated to the kids by Jumpman LA. The foundation's support enables Friends of Children to continue giving to children in impactful ways—especially during a tough year like 2020.
Director Thomas Lee told me, "Working with the Foundation is a huge deal. It’s one of the critical moments where we find ourselves building a village of support."
The Foundation is mostly fan and community-driven. Those who've caught games at Dodgers Stadium have probably seen the 50-50 fundraiser in the ballpark, with contributions by players as well.
They’re always innovating. In fact, you probably are familiar with a new and different fundraising concept this year during the COVID-19 shortened season, the fan cutouts!
They sold about 11,000 of them and raised almost $2 million. Go Blue!