With Christmas almost here, you might be wondering what to give that favorite Twins player in your life. Or maybe you're looking to make one or two last ditch charitable efforts to lower your tax-bracket before the end of the year.
Either way, I took some time to compile a list of links to the charitable organizations and non-profits I know our players support. I know times are tough all around, and money is always tight at the holidays. But if you have a little extra to give, I'm sure any of these organizations would make great use of it. If you can't give a monetary gift, please consider offering a gift of your time and talents to one of these groups in the coming year.
(I included some former Twins too...)
People Serving People serves homeless children and their families in Minneapolis. They host a Strike Out Homelessness event at a Twins game each year. Ron Gardenhire and Corey Koskie support this cause.
Courage Center specializes in rehabilitation services for people with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke, chronic pain, autism or disabilities experienced since birth. Jesse Crain supports Courage Center.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America is Michael Cuddyer's charity of choice. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
Special Olympics sports are a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy for individuals with intellectual disabilities in over 160 countries worldwide. Our favorite Canadian 1st baseman Justin Morneau supports Special Olympics.
Joe Mauer loves the Volunteers of America. They have thousands of programs nationwide that serve vulnerable groups in our communities, including at-risk youth, the elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions.
Pat Neshek supports Puppy Porch. They're a no-kill foster-based non-profit animal rescue group that helps pets in need find loving homes.
Make-a-Wish and the Moyer Foundation are both lucky to have Glen Perkins on their side. Both organizations are dedicated to making life a little brighter for kids who are in desperate situations.
Brendan Harris is involved with the non-profit group WePlayGreen, which is a group of professional athletes dedicated to addressing environmental issues involved with today's professional sports. They are trying to reduce waste and increase recycling at all sports venues, and encourage green living for athletes and fans alike.
Mike Redmond might not be with the Twins anymore, that doesn't mean we don't still love him, and what better way to show it than to help out his favorite cause, the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and life-altering injuries by providing entertainment, education and family activities that help them cope with the pain, fear and isolation of prolonged illness.
Same goes for Craig Breslow. He's not with our team anymore, but his Strike 3 Foundation is still a wonderfully worthy cause, supporting ongoing pediatric oncology treatment and research efforts. [EDIT] Turns out our very own Kevin Slowey is also a big supporter of Craig's foundation, and serves on the Advisory Committee. Double the reasons to love this cause!
The Torii Hunter Project is building kids with strong character and assisting them with a college education.
Many Twins players are also passionate about the good work that the Twins Community Fund does. The long list of programs that the Twins Community Fund supports include Play Ball! Minnesota, the R.B.I./Rookie League, Fields for Kids, Diamonds and Dreams Scholarship Program, and TwinsCare. All proceeds from TwinsFest go to the Twins Community Fund (I suspect that my addiction to Grab Bags has sent at least 2 kids to college all by itself), but you can also donate directly. I'm sure any one of the Twins players on your Christmas list would appreciate your support of this great cause.
If you know of any that I missed, please feel free to leave a comment and an URL for folks to see.