Greinke, DeJesus do part in Haiti relief
Royals pair pitch in for Heart to Heart humanitarian effort
KANSAS CITY -- Zack Greinke and David DeJesus are good at showing how it's done on the playing field. They're pretty good at setting an example off the field as well.
The two Royals players opened their checkbooks and their hearts on Thursday, urging Kansas Citians to follow their lead in donating to victims of the Haiti earthquake.
They were at Sam's Club in Independence, Mo., filling shopping carts with needed supplies for Heart to Heart International's humanitarian effort to aid the desperate nation.
DeJesus, who contacted Heart to Heart, had already donated $2,500 for the effort. And it didn't take long for Greinke to follow his lead when he arrived at Sam's.
"I brought my checkbook for that today," DeJesus said.
Royals Charities matched each of the two $2,500 donations for a total of $10,000, enough to provide 1,000 Heart to Heart Care Kits, filled with toiletries and other necessities headed for Haiti.
It was Greinke's wife, Emily, who got the ball rolling for the Cy Young Award winner with a cell phone donation via text.
"About three days ago Emily came in and said how she'd donated $10 to the Haiti relief foundation or something and how I should do that the next day," Greinke said. "I said, 'OK, maybe I'll do that.' And about the same time, they said Dave was coming here for this and Emily said, 'We should do that.' It sounded like a good idea and so we're here, and hopefully, we can help a little bit."
In addition to writing checks and buying items for the Care Kits, the players also sat outside on a gray, cold afternoon and signed autographs for fans who donated in the wake of the Haiti disaster.
"Once we heard about it, my fiancee Kim and I felt compelled to do something and we talked to Heart to Heart. Then I talked to the Royals and we came up with a plan," DeJesus said. "I wanted to donate $2,500 to them just to help out and they [Royals Charities] were able to match that."
The Sam's Club in Independence will continue to receive donations of cash and needed items on Friday from 10 to 7 p.m. CT. All five Sam's Club locations in the Kansas City area will collect donations from 10 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Heart to Heart International, based in the KC suburb of Olathe, Kan., emphasizes that 98 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to Haiti. Federal Express is shipping the goods for free. The organization is also sending medical volunteers there daily.
"We've sent over $5 million in aid there already," said Andre Butler, chief advancement officer for Heart to Heart. "We are getting things in there, directly from Miami."
DeJesus and Greinke just wanted to help in some way.
During the holidays, DeJesus adopted two KC families and shopped for them as well.
"You feel it in your heart," DeJesus said. "You'd rather give than get."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.