“When we first heard this idea, we knew it had incredible potential but I don’t think any of us could have imagined the way it would affect our employees so profoundly,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We are so proud of the impact we have seen in the community and the way in which it has enhanced our culture, from helping provide leadership experience to the younger employees of the team to creating invaluable team-building opportunities throughout the organization.”
Launched in April, 18 different employees were selected to be the respective "co-captains" in the Give Back League among more than 100 volunteers and from there, they each drafted a dozen employees. Each team determined a project that was meaningful to them with the intention of being finished by the end of the World Series.
In early November, the teams will present what they have accomplished in the community to a panel of club executives and the winning team will receive a free trip to the Dominican Republic.
While in the Dominican Republic, the group of D-backs employees will take part in a community service project to leave an impact on the island nation that produces numerous Major League players each season. The employees will also get the chance to visit the franchise's academy in Boca Chica and enjoy a day on the beach in the Caribbean.
More than $125,000 has been raised by the efforts in addition to more than $50,000 of in-kind donations with over 2,650 hours of time volunteered by D-backs employees.
Among the organizations that are working with the D-backs Give Back League are Ozanam Manor, UMOM new day centers, Children First Academy, Phoenix Dream Center, Imagine School, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, Kitchen on the Street, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Ronald McDonald House Phoenix, Pedal Power and many more.
The projects have ranged from the renovation of four Child Protective Service offices around the state that assist foster kids to the renovation of a school playground; from reading to homeless children to packing "bags of hope" for youngsters who go hungry each weekend; and from building a homeless shelter to passing along the love of giving back in the community to those less fortunate.
"This is a group for the community to follow after," said Dina Gerdon, Community Director of Children First Academy. "They have been able to accomplish more than any group we have ever seen. The funding, networking, supplies, donations and resources that they brought to the table surpassed all expectations of what we thought this partnership would turn out to be."