TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Former Tampa Bay Rays manager and Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champion Manager Joe Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation is bringing back Thanksmas to homeless shelters in the Tampa Bay area.
Thanksmas will be held November 13-18, to coincide with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
As manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon hosted Thanksmasfor eight years between 2006 and 20013 and provided meals, supplies and funds to thousands of needy citizens from Fort Myers to Orlando.
Thanksmas will include visits to the Tampa Salvation Army, the St. Petersburg Salvation Army, Trinity Café in Tampa and Pinellas Hope. Thanksmas will also take place at shelters in Maddon’s hometown of Hazleton, PA in December and Chicago in January.
Respect 90 has partnered with CITYPAK to provide 1300 custom designed, versatile, backpacks to the shelters. The backpacks are manufactured by High Sierra, provider of premier, durable, outdoor gear since 1978.
“I love the concept created by CITYPAK and am very proud to have our logo on this quality item that High Sierra has produced just for this purpose,” said Maddon. “It is a perfect addition to Thanksmas.”
“I have learned that in order to achieve important goals, you need great partners,” says CITYPAK Founder Ron Kaplan. “It’s an honor for The Citypak Project to work with Joe Maddon and Respect 90 to help those in need.”
Serving as volunteers at the Thanksmas meals in the Tampa Bay area will be players from the baseball teams from Steinbrenner, Tampa Jesuit, Northside Christian and Northeast High Schools.
Respect 90 will also donate backpacks to the Volunteers of America in St. Petersburg and the Homeless Empowerment Project in Clearwater.
Under Amour will provide cotton crew socks for each backpack.
The foundation will also provide a donation to Family Promise in St. Petersburg and the Bruce Fyfe Memorial Fund. Before his death last spring, Bruce acted on behalf of homeless families and individuals in Tampa Bay for more than 20 years. He held the title of Chairman Emeritus for the Homeless Empowerment Program at the time of his death.
As is the Thanksmas custom, the food served will be a traditional holiday meal representing Maddon’s Italian-Polish background.
The Tampa Bay area Thanksmas schedule:
Monday, November 13, 4:30 p.m.
Tampa Salvation Army- dinner
2801 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL 33602.
Steinbrenner High School baseball team will volunteer
Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m.
5726 126th Ave N, Clearwater, FL 33760
Northeast High School baseball team will volunteer
Wednesday, November 154:30 p.m.
St. Petersburg Salvation Army – dinner
340 14th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Northside Christian baseball team will volunteer.
Thursday, November 16, 11:30 a.m.
Trinity Café – lunch
1603 N. Florida Ave. Tampa, FL 33602
Tampa Jesuit baseball team will volunteer
Respect 90 seeks to provide children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics, and community involvement in all the places the couple calls home: Chicago, IL, Tampa, FL, Mesa, AZ and Joe’s hometown of Hazleton, PA. The Respect 90 Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization as registered with the Internal Revenue Service and gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.