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Betts, Dodgers hosting charity event Sunday

@kengurnick
August 14, 2020

When Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts isn't setting records on the field, he's setting up his community off the field. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Betts and the community response organization Pull Up Neighbor will host a grab-and-go giveaway at the Compton Town Center on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

When Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts isn't setting records on the field, he's setting up his community off the field.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Betts and the community response organization Pull Up Neighbor will host a grab-and-go giveaway at the Compton Town Center on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. PT. The partnership will help fight the spread of COVID-19 by providing free hand sanitizer, reusable face masks, food boxes and health screenings. Also being offered are voter registration services to encourage Compton citizens to vote in the upcoming elections.

"This is my home now, LA is my home now, and I definitely want to make an impact here," Betts said on Friday. "Partnering with Pull Up Neighbor, I think they're doing an amazing thing and I just want to be a part of a situation like that."

Betts, who was traded to the Dodgers from the Red Sox in February, has since signed a 12-year, $365 million contract extension. The 27-year-old said he's still living in a rental, but he has embraced the Los Angeles area as his new professional home.

"Got to get used to the weather, got to get used to everything," Betts said. "I'll be here for a while. I'm super excited about this opportunity. Great team, great front office. I'm here to stay and to help the community and make it home."

During the pandemic break, Betts teamed with Pull Up Neighbor in his hometown of Nashville, as he did in Boston while with the Red Sox. MLB's Youth Academy is also located in Compton.

"It seems like they need help the most," Betts said of the underserved in Compton. "People who are more fortunate have access to those things. I want to go to areas that are less fortunate and need it."

Betts said he welcomes the chance to use his platform as one of the sport's greats to make an impact.

"Life is bigger than baseball," Betts said. "God blessed me with so much that I have and I'd just like to share what I have with everyone else. Making people happy makes me happy."

The duel purpose of Sunday's event highlights voting as well as health.

"It's an important election year," Betts said. "Everybody needs to get out there and vote. Everybody's opinion matters. Giving easy access for people to vote is definitely something I want to do. Lower-income areas don't seem to vote as much. It's whoever you want to vote for. I don't think there's a right or wrong in that situation, but making the registration part easy definitely entices people to want to vote. It should be an easier process to get more people to vote."

As part of continued COVID-19 relief efforts, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation will provide 27,500 meals and more than $28,000 in in-kind donations to include water, socks and Dodgers giveaways. Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation volunteers will also join to support Pull Up Neighbor's community distribution.

"We are proud to partner with Mookie and Pull Up Neighbor to serve the Compton community," said Nichol Whiteman, the chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. "As we battle COVID-19 and simultaneously fight for equality, we are grateful to have Mookie on our team tackling the most pressing problems facing Angelenos."

The Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation launched joint relief efforts in early April and are working with players and team partners to provide 370,080 meals and more than $1 million worth of food, water, hygiene necessities and Dodgers products, including boxes of essentials picked up in a drive-thru setting in the communities of the families they serve.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.