Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is a Multiplying Good One in a Million Award recipient. They are among the millions of people who are putting others first and using service as a solution to the problems we're facing. Read their story below!

One in a Million Award recipient: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Where they are multiplying good: Los Angeles, CA

How they are multiplying good: They are all One in a Million. Founded in 1995 as the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) is bigger than baseball, envisioning a city where every Angeleno, regardless of zip code, has the opportunity to thrive. For Angelenos with limited access to education, sports and healthcare, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is a champion that increases the quality of life and confidence of the people we serve by using our historic Dodger brand and the power of sport to run and fund proven programs — at a time when a quality education, youth sports and health care are increasingly reserved for the elite. We want to impact Los Angeles’ most pressing problems and improve education, health care, homelessness, and social justice for all Angelenos.

To date, LADF has grown to impact over 2.3 million youth through direct programs and grants to local nonprofit organizations, including serving over 10,000 youth annually through its sports-based youth development program, Dodgers RBI, 10,000 youth through its LA Reads literacy initiative that inspires thousands of children to build a lifelong love of reading, and providing 368,000 youth access to safe, playable fields in their neighborhoods with 51 completed Dodgers Dreamfields.

As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches its fifth month of permeating our nation, we remain on the ready to support our most vulnerable local communities. When the “Safer at Home” order went into effect, we were prepping for Opening Day of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and we were launching our 7th season of the Dodgers RBI program. This year we were set to serve 11,000 young Angelenos from ages 5 to 18, from March to August across Los Angeles County.

Dodgers RBI uses baseball and softball to teach life-changing social and emotional learning skills, and as our players develop self-confidence and empathy through sport, we unlock access to health care and educational opportunities —as well as provide a place where the kids can feel safe while they play and learn. Of course, this season is different, and all on-the-field activities have been suspended, disrupting our main method of program delivery.

But we’ve quickly pivoted and now provide:

• Educational Virtual Programs to reinforce continuity of learning for our kids at home, including the launch of key Dodgers RBI program components to online and virtual formats– consisting of fitness & nutrition activities, baseball and softball Dodger Drills, coaches trainings, college & career panels, parent workshops, LA Reads Dodgers Reading Champions, Jr. Dodgers, Summer Slugger, Science of Baseball lessons and more.

• A new bilingual relief website, Dodgers.com/Relief and LosDodgers.com/Ayuda, that details our relief efforts and offers community and educational resources.

• A new emergency fund to support Angelenos who are experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, lack of basic needs and significant anxiety during this uncertain time.

• Grants to support relief efforts. Grants have already been directed to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, My Friend’s Place, the Mayor’s Fund of Los Angeles, and Brotherhood Crusade.

• Critical in-kind donations of food and basic needs to local organizations serving as “grab and go’s” for children and adults, as well as those on the front lines of this crisis.

We have also conducted and released our Dodgers RBI COVID-19 Needs Assessment to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the communities we serve. During a two-week period, LADF distributed a brief and anonymous survey to all Dodgers RBI families who participated in the program since 2017.

A survey was sent in English and Spanish to 6,688 participants with questions focused on school districts, ages, geographic location of the youth, access to resources, internet access, effects of school closures on the household, effects of the pandemic on parents, physical activity of youth, and what kind of programming parents felt would be most beneficial during this time. From loss of household income to the loss of positive social environments for their kids, families shared that their needs are vast and vary across neighborhoods. With 59% of families experiencing a decrease of income due to the pandemic, basic needs emerged, and families are concerned for the social, emotional, physical, and mental wellness of their children. With over 80% of Dodgers RBI youth eligible for free and reduced lunch at their schools, families are earning 130% of the federal poverty line or less and rely on school-based food programs. Dodgers RBI youth in smaller districts, outside of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), have less access to “grab and go” centers. In this assessment, 67% of Dodgers RBI participants were Latino and 11% were Black.

The outcomes of this assessment informed the launch of the Dodger Day Drive-Thru Series presented by ARCO, which was held over five (5) days in June, providing over 132,000 meals for 4,000 Dodgers RBI families registered in the organization’s sports-based youth development program. The “drive-thru” model, adjusted from its in-person format, provided over $480,000 in food boxes, exercise and fitness resources, softball and baseball equipment, books, and educational support to feed families and help youth stay active and healthy. In the coming month, LADF will also use Hunger Not Impossible, a text-based hunger solution that connects the food insecure with much-needed meals, to provide an additional 1,500 meals to families in the city of Compton, who earn less than $20,000 annually. Through their collective effort, The Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation have worked with team partners to provide more than 370,000 meals and more than $1 Million worth of food, water, hygiene necessities, gift cards and Dodger products to community organizations.