The New York Yankees today began HOPE Week 2011 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel), a unique week-long community program that will bring to light five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities.
Initiated in 2009 and now in its third year, HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture. Each day from today through Friday, the Yankees will reach out to an individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support. Though each day’s honoree will ultimately be celebrated at Yankee Stadium prior to a game, outreach will also take place away from the Stadium in various locations around New York City, allowing the Yankees to personally connect with individuals in settings that highlight their tremendous accomplishments.
One of the most unique aspects of HOPE Week is that every player on the active roster, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, as well as Manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff, will participate in the outreach for the five events.
Equally significant during HOPE Week is gaining publicity for the highlighted causes and organizations. The greatest challenge facing many not-for-profits is generating interest, awareness and funding for their missions.
The Yankees first recognized the return of HOPE Week in 2011 with a pregame ceremony on March 27 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Fla., prior to their spring training game against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees were proud to jointly host this ceremony with the Twins, who embraced the HOPE Week concept by holding their own HOPE Week during the 2011 season from June 12 through June 18.
In July 2010, the HOPE Week initiative was honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, given “in recognition and appreciation of commitment to strengthening the Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.” The award was bestowed by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service. In November 2009, HOPE Week was recognized at the 11th Annual National Sportsmanship Awards in St. Louis, honoring its work with Camp Sundown, which is one of the world’s only support networks for children and young adults with xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) – a condition in which a person’s skin has no defense against UV light.