Former Rays manager Joe Maddon speaks on meaning of ‘Thanksmas’

Former Tampa Bay Rays manager and Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champion Manager Joe Maddon.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Former Rays Manager Joe Maddon is back in the Tampa Bay area but it has nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with giving back.

This week, he’s feeding dozens of people in need and giving them a surprise gift through his program called “Thanksmas.”

With a serving tray in hand and friendly smile, Maddon served spaghetti and meatballs with sausage at Tampa’s Salvation Army Center. It’s part of a program he started in 2006.

“The point was to serve food, serve a meal on any day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, called ‘Thanksmas,'” he explained.

It’s a project near and dear to his heart because he truly sees the need to help.

“So, I think too many times the public’s opinion is skewed a little bit. They don’t really understand what’s going on here. Easily denigrate the group that is here. There’s a lot of derogatory comments and it’s not true, you have to come out and see it for yourself to understand it,” Maddon told News Channel 8.

Maddon understand the situation people like Tammy are in. Despite having a good education, Tammy is currently jobless and homeless.

“What job would you like to do if you could do something?” we asked her.

“To help others and get paid for it. Yes, which I have graduated four times,” she said.

“I am a phlebotomist. I have worked in the medical field, but mentally I’ve been through a little something but yes.”

For Tammy, Monday’s Thanksmas event was a true blessing.

With tears in her eyes she said, “Oh, my gosh! It means everything. I feel so grateful that God has stepped in and done a lot for me today. It seems like it’s not much to some people but it means so much to a lot.”

Alongside Maddon serving meals were the members of Steinbrenner High School’s baseball team.

As Thanksmas events continue this week, three other baseball teams will do the same. Northeast High School, Northside Christian and Tampa Jesuit will all be volunteering and serving meals.

The Tampa Bay area Thanksmas schedule:

Monday, November 13, 4:30 p.m.
Tampa Salvation Army
1603 N. Florida Ave. Tampa, FL 33602
Steinbrenner High School baseball team will volunteer

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m.            
Pinellas Hope
5726 126th Ave N, Clearwater, FL 33760
Northeast High School baseball team will volunteer

Wednesday, November 154:30 p.m.
St. Petersburg Salvation Army
340 14th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Northside Christian baseball team will volunteer

Thursday, November 16, 11:30 a.m.
Trinity Café

2801 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL 33602.
Tampa Jesuit baseball team will volunteer

Follow Jenn Holloway on Facebook

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s