Astros jump to action for neighbor in need

Club holding 'Fill the Freezer' food drive on Dec. 3 for shelter next to ballpark

Astros jump to action for neighbor in need

HOUSTON -- Minute Maid Park sits next door to Star of Hope Mission, a shelter that helps house and feed the hungry. The Astros naturally have been proponents of helping those in need at the Star of Hope for years, and this holiday season will be no different.

The Astros, along with Kroger grocery stores and radio stations Sunny 99.1 and SportsTalk 790 AM, will be holding a "Fill the Freezer" food drive benefiting Star of Hope from 3 to 8 p.m. CT on Dec. 3 at the Kroger located at 1440 Studemont St. in Houston. Astros infielder Marwin Gonzalez, mascot Orbit and the Astros Shooting Stars and Shuttle Crew street team will be on hand to assist with the food drive.

Twila Carter, the Astros' executive director of community relations and the Astros Foundation, said she hopes shoppers will help the team fill up a freezer truck with food, as well as make donations. The shelter is also in need of frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as turkeys and hams.

"This is our second year and we hope to do good things in the community there for the Star of Hope, and this time of year they're in need of turkeys and hams and just canned goods and everything," she said. "We hope to have a big turnout."

Astros employees serve lunch at the Star of Hope women and children's shelter every first and third Friday of the month.

"Those shelters are filled to capacity and they're our neighbors. They're right here at the ballpark, and it makes sense to do what we can do to help them out," Carter said. "They're within arm's reach from us. … This time of year, there's a big need for the holiday season.

"When you go over there and see, especially the women and children from all ages, young mothers with infants, to elderly who've been dropped off due to whatever circumstances, it's something close to my heart. I feel like anything we can do, we should. I've committed to try for the organization to partner with them and make a difference. It's important."

Correa dedicated to community service

Charity runs deep with the Astros.

Earlier this year, rookie shortstop Carlos Correa helped make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Salvation Army for a program to aid the homeless at Sally's House Women's Shelter. In addition, he'll be joined Dec. 12 by teammates George Springer and All-Stars Jose Altuve and Dallas Keuchel for a golf tournament in Puerto Rico to benefit the Gogui Foundation. That group helps economically disadvantaged children in Puerto Rico who suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.