Monday, June 13, 2016


I love HOPE week. I love how the Yankees put so much time and energy behind it and you can see the passion they have for it. I know all baseball organizations do care about the communities that they live in and they all do their own special charity and fundraising to give back to their communities.....but no one does it like the Yankees do. It gives me goosebumps every year.

The Yankees started HOPE week (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) back in 2009 and every year it just seems to get bigger and better. It already gets National and even International coverage. They take on the impossible, the unacknowledged and overlooked challenges within the community and celebrates the accomplishments that we miss in our everyday hustle and bustle.

The idea makes me smile. As fans, we would all love to meet our favorite players but this is no meet and greet before a game. This is a busy group of men taking time away from a game that really is trivial when you sit back and look at all of the challenges in life putting their support behind people in their community. It's an outreach of support and let's people know that they are not fighting their challenges alone no matter what they may be.

I was particularly moved by the Yankees kickoff of HOPE week this year. How many eighth graders do you know are raising funds for the USO by selling magnetic decals to put on their car that show support for military families? I love that Mariano Rivera shows up to help Jake Gallin sell all of these stars outside of City Hall. I don't think that we show enough support for our military and here the Yankees are helping an eighth grader raise funds for those brave men and women who fight for us.....our military. He is proof that you don't have to be an adult to make a difference. He is wise beyond his years and the Yankees still have big hearts.

I especially liked the visit the Yankees made to Harlem Grown. It's pretty "modern and hip" for all of these farm to table ideas coming into our world. You can order food boxes now that help you build good, nutritional meals and there are trends among restaurants now to grow their own food that they serve to you. Sustainability is now a trend. It's healthy for our bodies and the environment but it is also extremely expensive to undertake. So many people out there can't even use the money they make to put good unprocessed food on their table. High food prices put that out of reach for so many Americans. The fact that Tony Hillery took a risk to change careers and start his own business to make this new "trend" more readily available to people is brave and remarkable. To hear about Ivan Nova and Andrew Miller helping kids enjoy eating this healthy and sustainable food is promising for our future and a healthier America.

Obviously that was only two examples of what HOPE week is about. At its core this is about helping people. There is no cause that is too big or too small that can impact a community. The Yankees bring me hope. In a world filled with chaos, we need something to reflect on that makes us feel good inside and bring positive energy into a crazy world. This inspires me. I only wish that we at BYB could take this idea and build on it. Maybe some day we can. We have so many writes here with so many different backgrounds and communities that maybe the "little blog" that we are could become even bigger. It's food for thought.

God bless the Yankees and their generosity.....and the generous people who started these great initiatives.

--Jeana Bellezza, 
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ 


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