Milestone Helping to Making a Lasting ImpactMay 10, 2018
After hitting the milestone of 3,000 career hits on Friday, May 4, Albert Pujols put on a shirt that means the world to him. Hear what he had to say about the shirt, and about the impact he wants to leave off the field.
“When I was younger, I promised myself that if I ever became successful in baseball, I wouldn’t forget where I came from. I made a promise to serve my people.
Since hitting 3,000 there have been countless interviews and news stories about the milestone. But I want to use my time in the spotlight to shine it on those who are most deserving.
The shirt I wore right after hitting 3,000 is an important one. This shirt was made by Route 66 Promotions, a St. Louis company that is entirely own and operated by individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. All proceeds from this shirt directly benefit the Pujols Family Foundation, the foundation my wife Deidre and I started back in 2005. With all the money raised from this shirt, the foundation is giving back directly to the Down syndrome community in St. Louis.”
The partnership between Route 66 Promotions and the Pujols Family Foundation was born out of a desire to keep the work of the foundation supporting the St. Louis area, and others in the differently abled community. The introduction came from DEAF Inc., another 501c3 organization, which is owned by deaf individuals with the mission of providing “high-quality interpreting services at the lowest prices in an effort to enable the deaf and hard of hearing to freely interact with the mainstream society. 100% of all net proceeds go to programs designed to promote awareness of issues related to deaf and hard of hearing communities.”
Route 66 Promotions and the Pujols Family Foundation partner on many promotional items, and limited edition apparel. The two organizations were connected through DEAF Inc., a longtime sponsor of the foundation.
Together, the Pujols Family Foundation and DEAF Inc. launched a Communication and Sign Language pilot program in 2017 for the foundation’s participants with Down syndrome. The goal was to assist the Down syndrome community in building communication skills, both verbal and signed. For many people with Down syndrome who are nonverbal, sign language is an important tool for them to communicate and interact with others.
With this program and ongoing partnership between the foundation, Route 66 and DEAF Inc., the foundation aims to promote a spirit of inclusion, celebration and support to bridge communities within the St. Louis area.
Outside of the partnerships within the deaf community, the Pujols Family Foundation is making an impact on the Down syndrome community daily. With over 125 events and programs offered each year at no cost to those with Down syndrome and their families, the foundation is helping to meet important needs for their participants.
Programs like cooking classes teach their participants an important life skill, while martial arts classes promote confidence and self defense. The foundation’s Autumn Prom, which hosted over 600 individuals with Down syndrome in 2017, focuses on celebration, joy and socialization.
While the 3,000 Hit Commemorative T-shirt may seem like just another shirt to add to your t-shirt drawer, Albert feels differently.
“I want 3,000 to leave a legacy off the field. Help me make this happen, and support these groups of people who are so important to me. Get your 3000 Hit Commemorative T-shirt now, and help me make a lasting impact.”
You can get your 3,000 Hit T-shirt here.