Carlos Correa’s return to Houston became even more meaningful as his foundation, the Correa Family Foundation (CFF), honored Robb Elementary school shooting survivor Mayah Nicole Zamora before Tuesday’s game against the Astros.
Zamora, who was the foundation’s August Hero of the Month, was joined by her parents, two brothers and a few extended family members at Minute Maid Park. Zamora attended batting practice, received memorabilia and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game, the CFF said.
Correa’s foundation also announced that it had secured the funding needed to build a new home for Mayah and her family wherever she felt comfortable.
Correa said following the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24 that he texted foundation president Ricky Flores and told him they had to help.
“It means a lot to me, my wife and our foundation,” Correa said. “That’s what it was built for, to help those in need. And Mayah’s story is a story that was tough when it happened. It hit us hard at home. I texted Enrique right away and I said, ‘We’ve got to figure out ways to help these kids.’ And he happened to get in contact with Mayah and her family, and we’re here for Mayah and her family and whatever they need.”
Correa hadn’t met Mayah prior to Tuesday.
“I’m looking forward to meeting her today,” Correa said pregame. “I know she’s going to throw out the first pitch. She’s very excited. She’s been practicing with Ricky. He’s been sending me videos, practicing the first pitch with her. I know she’s really excited to be out there in front of the fans and throw the first pitch.”
Mayah, who was a member of the robotics club and was an Honor Roll student, was severely wounded during the shooting. She required more than 20 surgeries after suffering gunshot wounds to her hands, arms, chest and back. Her hospital stay lasted 66 days, during which she discovered she lived blocks away from the shooting suspect.
After she was discharged from the hospital, Zamora has been unable to return to her home because the knowledge that the suspect lived near her was too much to bear. Learning about this, CFF, Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny and his Good Bunny Foundation and TokenSociety.io co-founders James and Korrine Whipkey, Scott H. Weissman and Allen P. Lu provided a grant to her family for alternative lodging.
The Astros and Twins also assisted Correa and his foundation in helping Mayah and her family.
Tuesday was a special day for Correa, who returned to Houston for the first time since leaving in the offseason for Minnesota, but helping Mayah and her family made it even more special.
“It’s an important day for me, but I wanted to make it extra special for her,” Correa said. “After everything she went through, the battle she went through, and now she’s here with us. We want to celebrate life and celebrate her life. She’s here with us and we’re here to support her all the way through. It’s not just by helping with the house, but helping with whatever they need.”