Bednar continues work with Bucs Charities ahead of Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2022

The offseason might be in its infancy, but ’s efforts within the Pittsburgh community are in full swing.

Bednar, the Pirates’ 2022 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, has remained fully engaged with various charitable efforts since season’s end, continuing to give back to the community that raised him.

Following the season’s end, Bednar worked with Pirates Charities in conjunction with Allegheny Health Network on the launch of the Chill Mobile, a retrofitted RV that will travel to school districts throughout western Pennsylvania. The Chill Mobile RV provides students with a calming space, aiming to not only improve individual mental health, but also to destigmatize discussions of mental health as a whole.

“We’ve been going to schools and talking about mindfulness and that it’s good to talk to people,” Bednar said. “It’s cool to be part of that and to see how much they’re really embracing it.”

On Tuesday, Bednar, along with various members of the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins, will once again team up to distribute Thanksgiving meals in the Mazeroski Way cul-de-sac to local families in need.

“It’s such a cool event because all three teams -- Pirates, Steelers and Penguins -- are there to help out. I think that goes a long way,” Bednar said. “The Pittsburgh community is such a prideful one. We take so much pride in our sports teams. For us to be able to give back and show our support and be out there I think is huge to give back to everybody who helped support us all year long.”

While Bednar is very much a professional athlete in his own right -- and an All-Star at that -- he joked that he still gets excited at the prospect of working alongside Steelers and Penguins players.

“I still definitely fanboy over that,” Bednar laughed. “I’m a Pirates, Steelers, Penguins diehard. It’s great to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with them and give back to the community. [The fans] come out and support us through the ups and downs so to be able to give back to them is really surreal.”

On Dec. 17, David and younger brother Will, a prospect in the Giants organization, will be on hand for the 2nd annual Planet Fest, which will support Mars High School’s baseball team.

It’s been a busy year off-the-field for Bednar, who participated in a variety of different charitable efforts during the rigors of a Major League season.

This year alone, Bednar has led a donation drive of baseball equipment to his elementary school in Mars, hosted a baseball camp along with his father, Andy, and participated in the Pirates Charities Miracle Fantasy Camp. Of all the work that Bednar has done this year, the one that sticks out the most was hosting three-year-old Kayden, who is battling Leukemia.

“Just to be able to bring a smile on their face and help them forget it even if it’s just a couple minutes, I think that’s the most impactful and that’s the one that hits home for me,” Bednar said. “I remember how much I looked up to just about anybody in a Pirates uniform, and to be able to give back to that, it’s really crazy. It’s just so much fun just to see a smile on their face and help them forget some of the hard stuff they’re going through.”

While Bednar plans to continue working with Pirates Charities, he also envisions starting his own initiative one day. Bednar does not have any plans set in stone, but his work with the Pirates has given him the motivation to pick a few causes down the line in which he can invest. All his work within the community has only strengthened Bednar’s bond with the place that raised him.

“This city and this area has given me so much,” Bednar said. “I’m just beyond fortunate to be in the spot that I’m in. I think any opportunity that I have to show my appreciation for everybody who shows appreciation to us -- I can’t put into words how impactful that is.”