In the fourth year of the partnership, the team is asking fans to support a gift drive (#Gifts4Kids) on the morning of Wednesday, December 2, at the Clark Street entrance to Ballpark Village. Fredbird and volunteers will collect new, unwrapped toys and gift cards which will be distributed to local children in need throughout the holiday season.
"We're so thankful to be part of a community that has helped us collect over 3,000 toys and gift cards over the past few years," said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. "The gifts go a long way, but showing these kids that an entire community cares about them - that's the best gift the kids could receive."
Starting at 6 a.m. on December 2, volunteers from each organization will collect new, unwrapped toys for kids under 12 and gift cards for kids over 13. Fans can drop off donations from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Ballpark Village entrance on Clark Street in front of Busch Stadium Gate 5. All fans who donate items will receive a Cardinals stocking and stocking stuffer, a coupon for a free pizza from Papa John's, as well as complimentary hot chocolate from Delaware North Sportservice (while supplies last).
A portion of the toys and gift cards will be given out by Fredbird during Breakfast with Santa at Scott Air Force Base hosted by the American Red Cross on December 5, while the remaining gifts will be distributed to select Cardinals Care partner agencies for delivery throughout the holiday season. Fans can learn more at cardinals.com/community.
Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the organization to help children in our community - both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed over $21 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations and built 22 youth ball fields in local under-resourced neighborhoods. 2015 marks the 12th year of Cardinals Care's innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.