The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) is aiding the families of their Dodgers RBI baseball and softball players by hosting a Dodgers Day Drive-Thru presented by ARCO. Saturday marked the first of five Drive-Thrus where registered Dodgers RBI players are given food, resources and treats while social distancing.
The first installment was hosted at Alondra Park in Lawndale, the event is meant for Dodgers RBI youth in the South Bay and LAX regions. Families had to fill out an assessment so LADF could understand their exact needs. In response to the assessment, they provided food, books, shirts, jerseys, books, toys, diapers, baby wipes, catchers mitts, athletic equipment and caps to the players.
“We’ve pretty much lost baseball for the year due to COVID-19 and they find ways to change it,” said Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Carl Cooper. “It’s letting our folks know that the Dodgers care about them more than just out there playing baseball; they’re getting great food; they’re getting product from the Dodgers.”
LADF will provide 132,000 meals and spend $480,000 to provide to the youth. When the students can’t compete due to the quarantine, Dodgers RBI provided a virtual program for their softball and baseball players to keep up their athletic skills.
“This is about adjusting to the needs of those who are struggling during this time,” said LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman. “At Alondra Park, we’re serving about 800 families.”
Volunteers loaded the food and supplies into the cars of families to practice social distancing. The families showed their appreciation by honking while volunteers cheered and applauded them.
“We wave at the kids and let them know that it’s okay, let’s have some fun for a minute,” said Dodgers RBI field champion Carter Kendrick. “The Dodgers and the Dodger foundation have not forgotten about them.”
Several sponsors gave resources to the Dodger Day Drive Thru including the LA84 Foundation, the Los Angeles County of Mental Health, Nike, Dasani, and Baby2Baby.
“The Dodgers foundation contacted us after hearing about our COVID relief program that we’re doing, we distributed over 25 million items through our COVID program,” said Baby2Baby disaster relief specialist Marisa Muma. “To actually be here with Dodgers today and to see the smile on kids’ faces is awesome.”
Later in June, LADF partner with Hunger Not Impossible to give 1,500 meals to Dodgers RBI families who earn less than $20,000 per year. With the pandemic reducing the incomes of countless families, LADF wants to help the Dodgers RBI youth.
“I say to the team at the foundation this is what we’re built for,” Whiteman said. “It’s our responsibility to the community so I feel very proud of what we’re able to do.”