SAN DIEGO -- Will Venable didn't really know what he was getting himself into when he made his first visit to the Monarch School, a San Diego school for homeless children.
"There was an opportunity during the 2010 season for me to go over there and to talk to kids about the importance of school and education," said the Padres outfielder.
"When I went there and saw their interest in education ... it was really inspiring to me."
So he kept going back.
"From there, I started tutoring, going over there and trying to spend some time with the kids," Venable said. "It's a lot of kids from homeless families and I know that going to school isn't the easiest thing for them. But with everything they have going on in their lives, they're still interested in learning.
"I think that's something everyone can learn from. They want to be there. For me, that was unbelievable. They've made it a priority to get their education."
The Padres have certainly noticed Venable's giving nature and they've been appreciative of his efforts in the community.
"Education is Will's hot button, specifically tutoring and mentoring kids at the Monarch School," said Sue Botos, the Padres vice president of community relations. "He is also very supportive of our military efforts and is quick to visit the Make-A-Wish kids or the kids from Children's Hospital.
"I'm obviously a fan."
Venable is a big fan of giving back and recently had the opportunity to do so during the Service Nation Veteran's Day event that directly benefited the Monarch School, as he and other volunteers helped to prepare care packages for the homeless, with 750 of the packages going to the Monarch School and St. Vincent de Paul Village.
Venable was also joined my members of the military and veterans during the event.
"It was pretty cool," Venable said. "I'm a big fan of the Monarch School and I love to support them. And I'm also interested in supporting the troops. It was a cool to see and great to be a part of."
The Padres, who consider themselves the team of the military, have devoted efforts to not only members of the military but their family members. The Armed Services YMCA was the 2011 beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds of the Padres military logo merchandise.
Venable will begin his third year of helping at the Monarch School in 2012. He couldn't be happier that his chance visit in 2010 has turned into a regular stop for him.
"I have a platform as a baseball player, as someone who graduated from college, which seems to go further at the Monarch School than the baseball thing," said Venable, who graduated from Princeton.
"For me to be a positive role model and have them respond by showing up and showing an interest in their work ... that's something anyone would enjoy."