Across the nation baseball teams are in training camp. While the number of wins is always at the top of their priorities, many players and managers view the upcoming season as an opportunity to serve those less fortunate.
Joe Maddon, the new manager of the Los Angeles Angels, helped provide warm meals to the homeless in Southern California last week.
Homelessness has exploded across California’s major cities as a result of decisions by its Democrat governor and legislature, say observers. The issue has roused public anger and more people are speaking out against the policies and taking maters into their own hands in an effort to reduce the problem.
“I grew up Catholic,” he said. “I grew up in a parochial school. You don’t even realize sometimes all the impact that’s being made on you. Back then with the nuns specifically, we used to bring in money to raise and give to the poor children to buy food.”
Maddon explained that his dad was known for watching charity advertisements on television, writing down the addresses and sending $5 or $10.
“So I think I get some of this from my pop,” he said. “But when you grow up like I did, it is something that becomes part of your fabric.”
Maddon’s signing with the Angels this offseason has brought him full-circle. He returns to the place where his motivation for working with the homeless was born before he ever became a big-league manager.
“It was born of me riding my bike up and down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) between Sunset Beach and Huntington and Newport, where I would see a lot of homeless folks pushing their lives in shopping carts,” he said. “That really bummed me out.”
Maddon hopes to use his influence to encourage others to help those less fortunate.
“Homelessness is being so amplified and talked about in the LA area right now,” he said. “I definitely want to be sure that we are out there attempting to make a difference. I think a lot of times we may think we are just one person. ‘What difference do we make?’ That’s the whole point. If enough folks get beyond that thought process and just jump into the fray, you can make a difference.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice