Detroit — If you’ve ever watched him interact with fans either before or during baseball games, or at any of his numerous public appearances, you know Miguel Cabrera has a soft spot in his heart for children.
And, as the world slogs through the coronavirus pandemic, Cabrera is putting his money where his heart is.
Partnering with the Detroit Tigers Foundation, Cabrera and his wife Rosangel will donate $250,000 to several Detroit-area agencies that serve families and children.
“During these very tough times for all, my wife Rosangel and I wanted to help the Detroit community that is very special to us,” said Cabrera in a statement released through the Tigers. “Through our foundation, we have always focused on the well-being of children and we wanted to continue this effort in such a time of need.
“We partnered with the Detroit Tigers Foundation to make a donation that will assist with meals for children, technology for students, affordable childcare, and protective face masks for families. The people of Detroit have been so great to us over the years and we hope this brings some hope and positivity to this very strong city. We will get through this together.”
The donation is believed to be among the largest made by a professional baseball player during the pandemic. Among the beneficiaries:
► Detroit Public Schools Community District — $50,000 to fund meal distribution to both student and families. The DPSCD distributes about 120,000 meals across 19 Grab and Go sites.
► Detroit Public School Foundation — $50,000 to help fund the Connected Future initiative, which will provide tablets, six months of sponsored internet and IT support for all 51,000 DPSCD students.
"We appreciate this support for our students' across the district from Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers,” said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District. “We have families who are facing severe hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. This example of compassion and thoughtfulness goes a long way, especially from one of our hometown baseball greats."
► Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Police Athletic League and Brilliant Detroit — $140,000 to assist their collaboration to provide affordable childcare for families in Detroit. Some 3,000 Detroit kids will be impacted.
“This extraordinary gift will help ensure that our clubs are safe and clean, staff are adequately protected, and youth have meals and enrichment activities as we begin to safely reopen our doors,” said Shawn H. Wilson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. “Our youth need us today more than ever. We thank Rosangel and Miguel Cabrera for their generous donation and for understanding the importance of funding collaborations for greater community impact.”
The remaining $10,000 will go to philanthropic collaboration organized by G1 Impact to hire Detroiters to manufacture 100,000 reusable, hospital-grade masks for children. Forgotten Harvest, Life Remolded, Brilliant Detroit, and The Prayer Truck will distribute the 100,000 masks.
The Cabrera family donation will aid in purchasing 2,000 masks and distributing them to residents in the Durfee/Central High School area.
“This generous donation further cements Miguel Cabrera’s legacy as an all-time great both on the field and in the community, and all of us with the Tigers, and Ilitch Charities, are thankful for his and Rosangel’s contribution to Detroit families and children in need,” said Christopher Ilitch, Chairman and CEO of the Tigers and Chairman of Ilitch Charities. “In addition to today’s donation and partnership with the Detroit Tigers Foundation, we recognize the Cabrera family for years of awarding annual college scholarships, renovating baseball fields and hosting special fundraising events that positively impact thousands.
“Thank you, Miguel and Rosangel.”