Over the summer, Los Angeles Laker LeBron James helped open the doors to a new school in his home town of Akron, Ohio. His facility is an innovative approach to education that’s integrated with the community. Staff members work with students and parents to provide resources, supplies, and support so children are set up for a successful future.
James is a shining example of an athlete who has identified problems in his community and is using his resources to fix those problems. But he’s not the only athlete giving back.
Players across major league sports, especially in baseball, are using their resources to help children, support important causes, give back to the towns they grew up in or contribute to the cities who’ve adopted them as players. Check out some of baseball’s biggest stars on and off the field:
- Albert Pujols – Pujols formed a family foundation to assist the people of the Dominican Republic and families of children with disabilities. He works to improve health and conditions for impoverished people in his home country and enrich the lives of children with Down syndrome, in honor of his daughter.
- Derek Jeter – Jeter wasted no time giving back. During his rookie year, he established an organization that helps kids build through activity, substance abuse programs and scholarships. These programs are all over the country, but mostly in his home state of Michigan as well as New York and Florida.
- Clayton Kershaw – Kershaw works with people and organizations in cities all over the world, including in his native Dallas and adopted city of Los Angeles, to get them involved in causes they care about. Kershaw’s Challenge encourages people to use whatever they have – time, influence, passion, and resources – to impact communities.
- Cal Ripken Jr. – Ripkin started a program that reaches out to under-privileged kids. The programs give children the opportunity to learn baseball, build skills and live healthy lives.
For these players, getting involved isn’t just about charity or giving back. It’s about breaking down barriers, providing opportunities, and strengthening their communities with the resources already at their disposal.