On Feb. 24, the Globe published an article titled “In nonprofit game, athletes post losing records.” As the brother of a cancer survivor and a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox who founded the Strike 3 Foundation (www.strike3foundation.org), it is unclear to me how a real loss could be defined within the context of raising money to cure a disease. What percentage of a dollar disbursed makes that dollar too little to bother raising? What research oncologist turns away $37,000 because it isn’t $100,000? Was the $400,000 that the Strike 3 Foundation granted to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital as the founding sponsor of Connecticut’s first bone marrow transplantation program a loss? I may not be equipped to answer this question, but I would be happy to connect the author of the article to the oncologists, nurses, patients, and families at Yale who could probably share some insight.
Publicly available charity IRS filings help provide financial transparency to donors and potential donors, allowing them to align their dollars and time to charities of their choice. Being a professional athlete provides me with choices; a choice to align my money, time, name, and notoriety to a charity of my own or even in support of other teammates. A child, or the parent of a child, with cancer, or craniosynostosis, or 22q11.2 deletion, or autism, or cystic fibrosis, or Down syndrome, or cerebral palsy, or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is faced with choices too. Many of those parents are athletes and teammates, who have made choices to make a difference, whether publicly or privately, and the transparency of their intentions won’t be found on a tax form, or a bar chart, or calculated by some ratio, or on the black and white pages of a newspaper. Rather, you can be sure they mean to do good by the looks in their eyes and the pain in their hearts. Maybe it’s time we applaud that.