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Posted 6/5/12 at 8:59 PM

Gio's new charity paying immediate dividends

GIO: Giving Individuals Opportunities

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, the NL Pitcher of the Month for May, is having a red-hot season on the bump -- but he’s still finding time to help others between starts.

His new charity, Giving Individuals Opportunities (GIO), aims to help people in need, no matter their situation.

Gonzalez joined nationally renowned motivational speaker Gabrielle Ford at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C., on Friday to address an assembly of 500 students about bullying. Ford, who suffers from a rare neuromuscular disease, shared her personal experiences as a bullying victim with the students.

While Gonzalez’s presence excited the crowd, numerous students were moved to tears by what he and Ford had to say. Many later approached the pair to discuss their experiences both as bullies and victims. Gonzalez will continue his work with GIO next week at an event for young cancer patients at Fenway Park.

-- Hayley Milon

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