Yankees, Joe Girardi to once again salute charity before every 2017 home game
NEW YORK - Last spring, Yankees manager Joe Girardi visited Shriners Hospital in Tampa during an off-day, and was quite moved by his experience. So too was Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo, so when Zillo approached Girardi with the idea to wear a t-shirt saluting a different charitable organization prior to each home game last season, the skipper was all aboard.
"Jason asked me if I'd be interested in doing it, and I thought it was a really good idea," Girardi said last season. "I know we have HOPE Week, but there are a lot of other organizations that deserve recognition and help because they're helping others, so if you can bring some light to their cause and it tugs on somebody's heart, it's a good thing."
Shriners Hospitals for Children was the first honoree, Girardi rocking a red tee bearing their logo prior to the rained-out season-opener. The rest of the season went from A to…well, A, with Ainsley's Angels of America getting a salute prior to the re-scheduled opener and the combo of the Arthritis Foundation and Pink Heals both getting recognized before the October 2 home finale.
A great story and a great season, and on Monday, the Yankees revealed that there will be a sequel; once again in 2017, Girardi will be wearing a charity t-shirt during his pre-game home press conferences, and once again, at the end of the day, he will autograph the shirt and return it to the respective organizations so that they can use it however they see fit to help raise funds.
So, on Monday, prior to the Yankees' home opener, there sat Girardi at his podium in the press conference room, his Yankees pinstripes covered by a green t-shirt bearing the logo of Sparrow's Nest, an organization based in the Hudson Valley that helps those diagnosed with cancer.
"Sparrow's Nest provides home-cooked family meals for parents or guardians who have been diagnosed with cancer, and are either undergoing chemotherapy or radiation of have undergone surgery," Girardi explained. "If parents or guardians have children under 18, Sparrow's Nest will provide two meals once a week, big trays of food."
Founded by Krista Jones in 2012, Sparrow's Nest has helped more than 200 families and delivered over 1,000 meals so far, but Girardi noted that the organization also provides things like Easter baskets and school supplies to help make parents' lives easier as they battle cancer.
It's an endeavor that's close to Girardi's heart, as he emotionally revealed in his press briefing.
"This hits home for me a little bit, because families did this for us when I was growing up and my mother was battling cancer," he said. "It was always hard, but people were there to help."
For more information on Sparrow's Nest, please visit www.sparrowsnestcharity.org.