For Hudsons, Christmas spirit a year-round endeavor

Giants pitcher and family dedicate time to foundation, helping the needy

For Hudsons, Christmas spirit a year-round endeavor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson is the Major Leagues' winningest active pitcher, yet his most treasured victories occur far from any diamond.

Hudson and his wife, Kim, launched the Hudson Family Foundation in 2009 with one goal in mind: helping children and their families. The foundation aims to support youths throughout Alabama and Georgia who require help in addressing "a specific physical, emotional or financial circumstance," in the words of the organization's mission statement. Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $600,000 for the needy.

"I really think we get more out of it sometimes than the people we help," Hudson, the Giants right-hander, said recently in a text message. "Nothing beats the feeling of being able to genuinely help someone and put a smile on their face. The foundation is something that my family is fully committed to and will continue for years to come."

Last Thursday, the Hudsons observed the approach of the holidays with foundation-related activities. The Hudsons' older daughter, Kennedie, and some of her friends distributed coats to students at Notasulga (Ala.) High School. That night, the Hudsons hosted a shopping spree at a Target store in Auburn, Ala., giving $100 gift cards to more than 70 kids who could use them as they pleased.

Of course, true giving knows no season.

"It's important around Christmastime," Kim Hudson said, "but we certainly try to continue it throughout the year."

Through the foundation's Grant Program, youths and their families receive assistance making ends meet with various obligations, including pharmaceutical expenses, medical bills and equipment, gift cards for food- or travel-related expenses and temporary housing or mortgage assistance.

"The Grant Program is one of the biggest things we do," Kim Hudson said.

The foundation embraces children from both ends of the age spectrum. Its "Rookie Reader Program" promotes literacy by providing books to kids. The number of books donated has reached 10,000. The foundation also donates $3,000, onetime college scholarships to students meeting certain academic standards. Close to $200,000 in scholarships have been issued.

"There is so much need all around, and we're blessed to be able to plug in and help those who need us," Hudson said.

One of the foundation's biggest events is coming up Jan. 31-Feb. 1: its annual Super Bowl Benefit Weekend at the Arena at Auburn University, featuring the band Perry and country music artist Cole Swindell. Besides the musicians performing in a concert, patrons can enjoy numerous contests and games and participate in a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the foundation.

"This is fun for us," said Kim Hudson, speaking of the foundation's efforts as a whole. "We're just blessed to be able to have the means to do it."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.