Giants helping San Bruno victimsBy Chris Haft
During the 2010 season, the Giants' community relations department displayed the same awareness and quick reactions that helped the ballplayers win the World Series.
Case in point: On the evening of Sept. 9, a natural gas line explosion killed eight people and ravaged a neighborhood in San Bruno, located virtually in the shadow of AT&T Park.
Less than 24 hours later, the Giants announced plans to raise funds for people affected by the disaster.
"When there's a need in our community, we have the ability to respond and bring all of our fans together to contribute as well," said Shana Daum, the Giants' senior director of public affairs and community relations.
The Giants dedicated the opener of the upcoming homestand -- which happened to be against the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers -- to the victims of the fire. Approximately $120,000 was raised for the Glenview Fire Victims Fund that night.
The Giants were just as successful with their annual charitable programs.
The second Junior Giants Stretch Drive, involving Hall of Famer Willie "Stretch" McCovey, sustained momentum by raising $159,000. The contributions helped maintain the Junior Giants baseball program, which is the flagship program of the Giants Community Fund. Junior Giants is a free, non-competitive baseball program for more than 16,000 youths in 80 communities. Teaching life skills along with providing an outlet to play baseball are the Junior Giants' chief objectives.
Mindful that baseball can benefit girls, too, the Giants continued their partnership with the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative to stage Team Up for Girls Day on June 13 at AT&T Park. Fans listened to "celebrity dads" such as pitching coach Dave Righetti, broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper and former San Francisco 49ers tight end Brent Jones discuss how they encouraged their daughters -- who were present -- to pursue their individual dreams.
The Giants also welcomed the "Free 2 Play" campaign to AT&T Park. Free 2 Play is the sports arm of the Not For Sale campaign, a non-profit organization that works to end modern slavery and forced labor. Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who has long been involved with Not For Sale, took part in a pregame ceremony.
Pablo Sandoval and the Giants also got involved with the American Heart Association, as the third baseman visited the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco to urge elementary-school students from the Hispanic community to stay active.
The Giants held "Step Up to the Plate" night on Aug. 24 to highlight the efforts and community impact of five outreach service organizations geared toward at-risk youths and their families: Larkin Street Youth Services, At the Crossroads, Huckleberry Youth Programs, Walden House and Project Homeless Connect.
The Giants also perpetuated numerous events that have come to define the club's community involvement, including Until There's a Cure Day, Genentech Strike Out Cancer Day and Strike Out Violence Day.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Copyright ©2010 MLB.com. Published 11/24/2010.