New York Met Curtis Granderson fights hunger insecurity in Chicago and New York City.
One of the most powerful drivers of charitable giving is personal experience. Often, philanthropists draw on life experience when considering how and to whom to give. Curtis Granderson, outfielder for the New York Mets, has done exactly that. Having grown up in a food desert in Chicago, Granderson has made hunger relief a priority for his Grand Kids Foundation. He has coined this initiative Grand Giving – a month-long campaign leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Granderson spends November fundraising for his partners in New York City and Chicago with the collective goal of ending hunger in both cities.
The holiday season is by and large the most charitable time of year. Donors readily donate to organizations close to their hearts, and hunger relief tends to be a popular cause, perhaps because the holidays are centered on shared meals. Granderson has capitalized on this trend by establishing the Grand Giving initiative, hosting back-to-back celebrity fundraising galas to benefit his grocery partners. A Night of Grand Giving is supplemented by various other donation streams like “Check Out to Help Out” and social media fundraising. Funds from the Grand Giving campaign supply Thanksgiving day meals, as well as access to meals all year round.
In 2013, Granderson donated 30,000 meals, and in two years he increased donations to 500,000. This year, the goal is to supply 1 million meals to individuals in need, and Granderson is more than halfway there. He has spent the days following his fundraisers personally delivering and serving meals to families around the city. Granderson has established himself as one of MLB’s most generous athletes, solidifying that reputation by receiving the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player that best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and team contribution.
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