The Los Angeles Dodgers' wives plan to continue investing their efforts into a series of monthly outreach projects in partnership with The Dream Center, a volunteer-led organization that provides for the needs of 80,000 people each month.
"We are forever grateful for this partnership with the Dodgers. They are just not coming out to hand out a bag of food, they are coming out to invest into the needs of the community," Pastor Matthew Barnett, co-founder of The Dream Center told The Christian Post.
The idea for the partnership started when Ellen Kershaw, wife of Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and a few other wives wanted to broaden their community outreach efforts.
Last weekend, a dozen wives helped to give out food, supplies and gently-used clothing to mothers living in a Los Angeles housing project near the baseball stadium, just in time for Mother's Day.
However, the partnership started last month, with Kershaw distributing groceries to nearly 200 families in a Los Angeles neighborhood, alongside her husband and 30 season ticket holders who also helped. In addition, they recently helped the organization with their food truck outreach project, which usually involves trucks distributing food at different elementary school sites to families who earn less than $15,000 a year.
"Clayton and I believe that it's not only baseball players that have a platform and can make a difference but we all can in one way or another so Clayton and I really want to get fans involved and get us all out into the community and let us all make a difference together," Kershaw said, according to mlb.com.
Besides Kershaw, Heather Howell wife of Dodgers pitcher JP Howell, also joined in an outreach recently by running the L.A. Marathon with The Dream Center to raise awareness and money for human trafficking.
Going forward, the wives will be involved with several outreach events this year such as GED training, foster care intervention and participating in The Dream Center's Back To School Bash in August for underprivileged children.
In addition, they plan to serve food to individuals on Skid Row, a Los Angeles area known for poverty and homelessness. The Dodger players will also join their wives for the next Dream Center outreach on Father's Day weekend.
Services and programs offered by The Dream Center include a residential rehabilitation program for adults, a transitional shelter for homeless families, and mobile medical and hunger relief programs.
The organization also works closely with Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services to support families by delivering the required furnishings, clothing and food to assure that their homes meet DCFS standards.
The Dream Center also has over 100 independent national and international locations.