NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Former Overton standout and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is no stranger to giving back to his community here in Nashville with his ’50 Feeds 50′ campaign.
“We have choices, but many of these residents don’t,” said Deborah Neal, Knowles Home Assisted Living administrator.
That’s why Betts made the choice to make this holiday season special for 50 residents at the Knowles Home Assisted Living.
“I’ll always continue to give back to Nashville because it’s my hometown,” Betts said. “You never forget where you came from. So Nashville is very, very important to me. And it means the world to me to be able to give back and help The people from my community.”
Betts has always been a giver, something he got from his mother, Diana Collins, who became his first baseball coach when others said he was too small to play on their teams.
“Some of the kids on the team didn’t have gloves and they didn’t have equipment and he was the first to tell me, ‘Ma, you got to buy them a glove or you got to get them a baseball bat’,” said Collins. “He was always giving, and he would actually give his equipment away. He wanted everyone to have a chance.”
“My mom would always say, let’s help somebody. If we can help somebody, you know, then we will … then when we were blessed enough to to make it to the majors, I just felt like this is a time for us to let everyone know we appreciate you and this is our way of giving back.”
For the past eight years, Betts has been using his 50/50 Foundation to perform at least 50 acts of kindness annually.
And, with many of the residents at the Knowles Home Assisted Living facility alone for the holidays, Betts’ donations will mean more than he knows.
“Most of them do not have family and then those that have family, it’s limited to what they can do,” said Neal. “I could not believe the magnitude of these people to come down to see us and contribute to our residents, but I was more excited because someone of that caliber would even think to come and give back because most people, they forget about those who are older.”
The residents at the Knowles Home Assisted Living facility haven’t yet been told about the surprise donation.
Betts is also hosting a celebrity bowling event Friday in Murfreesboro to help raise money.