The St. Louis Cardinals announced that their charitable foundation Cardinals Care is donating $200,000 to four charities to help the children of Joplin. The donations to Children’s Haven, Bright Futures, Ronald McDonald House of Joplin and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jasper & Newton Counties/Joplin were made possible by the generosity of fans who donated money to Cardinals Care’s Joplin Recovery fund as part of the Teams Unite for Joplin effort last summer.
“We are inspired by the commitment each of these organizations has made to help the children of Joplin in the wake of last year’s tragedy,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “We targeted our donations to help with the critical needs of each organization.”
Cardinals Care is providing a $70,000 donation to Children’s Haven to help close a funding gap the agency has in providing temporary housing to children of families experiencing a crisis. The funds will help with necessary medical, nutritional, educational, and social services for the next two years.
Cardinals Care is providing a $40,000 to Bright Futures, which provides support services to Joplin School District students in need. With more than sixty percent of the students in the district eligible for the free and reduced lunch program alone, the Cardinals Care funds will be used to underwrite two years cost of a part time coordinator position to help meet the variety of increased student needs created by the tornado.
Cardinals Care’s $20,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House will be used to support essential upgrades for the Joplin agency that supports families by providing a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children and ill-expectant mothers being treated at nearby hospitals hard hit by the tornado.
Cardinals Care’s $70,000 donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jasper & Newton Counties/Joplin will help the agency replace their office that was destroyed by the tornado and to support the groups mentoring program.
Team officials will present checks to each agency when the Cardinals visit Joplin on Monday to work with Habitat for Humanity volunteers to build five homes in the Cardinals neighborhood as part of the Governor’s Joplin Challenge.
“In the face of tough challenges, Missourians pull together. We saw that demonstrated again when the St. Louis Cardinals organization responded quickly and with great compassion to help the people of Joplin,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. “On behalf of six million Missourians, I thank the Cardinals and their fans for this incredible show of generosity.”
In addition to the $200,000 in donations from the Cardinals Care Joplin Recovery Fund benefiting children and support of the Governor’s Habitat Challenge, the Cardinals also provided $25,000 to Convoy of Hope, a Springfield-based first responder agency, immediately after the tornado struck to assist with emergency relief efforts.
Since its inception in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in “Caring for Kids” both on and off the baseball field. Cardinals Care has provided nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations and built 19 youth ball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Cardinals Care also runs the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids in Missouri and Illinois who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms and equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.