SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval cherishes the appreciation that Giants fans have showered upon him throughout his eight seasons with the club. This year, he believed, was an opportune time to reciprocate that support.Accustomed to striving for as much range as possible when he plays third base for the Giants,
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval cherishes the appreciation that Giants fans have showered upon him throughout his eight seasons with the club. This year, he believed, was an opportune time to reciprocate that support.
Accustomed to striving for as much range as possible when he plays third base for the Giants, Sandoval covered plenty of ground during recent months in his efforts to help the less fortunate and brighten the holiday season for numerous Bay Area residents.
Most of his altruistic activities were directed toward children.
"I love children and nothing makes me happier than to bring a smile to their faces and maybe help to make their lives a little easier, especially at Christmas," said Sandoval, whose affectionate nickname, "Kung Fu Panda," has stuck.
Through his foundation, Sandoval joined forces with former Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt and his non-profit organization, Generation Alive, to provide 20,000 meals to people victimized by natural disasters.
Half of those meals went to people who felt the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. The other half was sent to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Sonoma County, whch relayed them to some of the many victims of the wine country fires.
Sandoval was far from finished. On Dec. 5, he chartered a bus filled with kids from low-income families who were affected by the Northern California blazes. The children's destination was the popular Holiday Heroes Event, conducted by the Wender Weis Foundation for Children and held at AT&T Park. As usual, the activities took place in a carnival-like atmosphere.
One day later, Sandoval helped fund the Giants' holiday party for 300 homeless children. He also provided each of them with backpacks that were filled with Giants-related items. For good measure, Sandoval sent hundreds of pairs of new shoes to children in need through the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.