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Verlander, Upton helping Detroit first responders

@brianmctaggart
April 17, 2020

HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and his wife, Kate Upton, announced Friday on Twitter and Instagram they are teaming with Bella+Canvas to send 25,000 protective masks to the Detroit Police Department to be distributed to officers and people in need. Two weeks ago, the couple said it would pick

HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and his wife, Kate Upton, announced Friday on Twitter and Instagram they are teaming with Bella+Canvas to send 25,000 protective masks to the Detroit Police Department to be distributed to officers and people in need.

Two weeks ago, the couple said it would pick a different organization each week "who's doing really good work right now" to combat coronavirus and donate his weekly paycheck. Verlander pitched for the Tigers for 11 full seasons before being traded to Houston in August 2017.

"With such deep ties to this amazing and resilient city we wanted to focus our efforts on supporting both the community and first responders," Verlander wrote on Instagram. "We've especially seen the impact on the Detroit Police Department and reached out to learn how we could help. Together we quickly identified their areas of need and are so grateful for several collaborations and extremely generous organizations that rushed to support."

Verlander said Ford is donating face shields to every police officer, paramedic and firefighter in Detroit. What's more, Verlander's donation will help buy touchless thermometers for the Detroit police department, which instituted strict safety measures such as temperature checks for all staff members. The couple is also supporting Feed the Frontlines Detroit, a program that allowed food from Detroit restaurants to feed those on the frontlines of battling the coronavirus.

"This is a wonderful initiative to support both the local restaurant industry and many who are on the frontlines every day," Verlander wrote.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.