Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Mariano Rivera distributes backpacks and school supplies to kids in Wilmington, Delaware

8/14/17, "Yankees legend 'pitches' in to help Wilmington students prep for Opening Day," WDEL.com (AM/FM), Sean Greene

"Much as he secured 662 saves in his Major League career, Mariano Rivera gave Wilmington children a great finish to summer with a backpack giveaway Monday."...

[Ed. note: Per Baseball Reference, Mo had 652 regular season 'saves' and 42 post season 'saves' for a total of 694 total career saves. He also had a few 'saves' in his All Star game appearances. The 'save' stat doesn't well describe the difference Rivera made. Pitching in the post season is great, but among other things it means you have shorter off seasons. While he was working under the brightest lights against the game's best, other relievers were relaxing on the couch resting up to pad the next year's regular season stats. Rivera twice pitched into November (2001 and 2009).]

(continuing): "Rivera, a future Hall-of-Fame member of the New York Yankees stopped at Rodney Square, taking some time to throw a few cut (wiffle) fastballs, and stocking up students with back-to-school essentials.

Born in Panama, Rivera started his first foundation 19 years ago to help education efforts for impoverished families in both the United States and abroad.

Last year, Rivera opened up the Public Foundation here in Delaware, that focuses on youth-oriented programs through education, health, social, and economic development.

"It's a passion of mine. The Lord as blessed me as a lot, and I remember where I came from. I have to give back. That's what really pulls at my heart, to give back to the community, and help as much as I can. Delaware is a special place for me."

But why Delaware? The 19-year veteran closed 2 of the Yankees victories over Wilmington's beloved Phillies in the 2009 World Series, and while there were "NY" hats at Rodney Square, there would surely be more at Times Square.

"My spiritual parents live here. The people who have loved me, and taken care of me, and who have been there for me. When we come here, we're always looking for things to do for the kids here. They're the people we want to bless."

Before the volunteers handed out the backpacks, Rivera gave a half-dozen of the kids a chance to hit two pitches off of him.

Kevin Beaver of Trainer, Pennsylvania smacked a solid shot to win the contest, but said afterwards he hadn't seen Rivera pitch before.

Perhaps a sign of baseball's popularity declining, but goodwill gestures never will. Rivera closed out the appearance with plenty of smiles for students that are one step closer to being ready for their school's Opening Day." image from WDEL AM/FM

Added: "Mariano Rivera Foundation Gives Backpacks to Delaware Children," newsworks

8/14/17, "Baseball icon gives backpacks, supplies to Wilmington students," newsworks.org


UPDATE: 8/24/17, Backpacks for needy kids stolen in New Rochelle, NY. New Rochelle Daily Voice says Mo will host the giveaway: "Despite the thievery, the backpack giveaway, hosted by Yankee legend Mariano Rivera is still scheduled for Saturday afternoon at New Rochelle City Hall." Despite Rivera's scheduled appearance it sounds like the group who paid for, assembled, and stored the backpacks in this instance was Hope Community Services, not Mo's foundation.

8/24/17, "Back-to-school backpacks for needy students stolen in New Rochelle," Lohud.com, Colleen Wilson

"About 250 backpacks filled with school supplies for needy students have been stolen from the storage space of a local nonprofit.

The bags, which were valued at about $10,000, are part of an annual drive to raise money and school supplies for local economically disadvantaged students.

Carol Troum, executive director of Hope Community Services, said they suspect the break-in took place Monday night or Tuesday morning.

"We were so upset and so angry," Troum said. "It made me so sad."

After discovering the bags were missing, Troum said they called city police, who sent two officers and, later, detectives, who are doing an investigation.

Since news of the stolen bags surfaced, which was first reported by CBS New York on Wednesday afternoon, Troum said they have received an outpouring of support from the community, with people offering to donate new supplies or money.

"As we were feeling so horrible this morning, the phones started ringing off the hook," Troum said. 

"It was just so gratifying. Instead of focusing on the bad guys who stole from us, we have this wonderful feeling of community support it really is amazing — it kind of restores your faith in people."

If you want to help, call Hope Community Services at 914-636-4010."


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