In 2017, Rays pitcher Chris Archer pledged to help strike out teen homelessness in Tampa Bay. For every strikeout Chris Archer recorded, Chris, the Rays Baseball Foundation and Crown Automotive Group donated $25 to benefit Starting Right, Now.
The Tampa Bay Rays continue their tradition of shaving their heads as part of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation's "Cut for a Cure." Led by Rays second baseman Brad Miller in 2017, players, coaches and front office staff shaved their heads to pay tribute to children fighting cancer.
Since 2014, Good Sports has partnered with the Tampa Bay Rays and starting pitcher Chris Archer to provide donations of new sports equipment, apparel, and footwear to youth programs serving children in need. Through this initiative, donations are made throughout the baseball season in Charlotte County during Spring Training, as well as Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties during the regular season.
The Rays proudly partner with Tampa General Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital to bring players, coaches and mascots several times throughout the season to raise the spirits of patients and their families.
For every home run Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. hits, he and his wife, Mikaela, will donate $1,000 to Consider the Lily, which rescues girls from broken homes in the Philippines.
In 2015, Steven and Mikaela embarked on a missionary trip to the Philippines with Unlimited Potential Inc., a religious organization consisting of current and former professional baseball players. While on their trip, Steven and Mikaela visited rural villages, providing food to families in need. The Souzas also first met Josie Long, the founder and Executive Director of Consider the Lily. They visited the organization's home, the JAZ Family Home, which houses over 40 girls who have been rescued, and heard several of their personal stories, falling in love with Consider the Lily's mission and importance in the Philippines. For more information visit considerthelily.org.
Every home run hit by Rays third baseman Evan Longoria benefits Pet Pal Animal Shelter through the Home Runs Save Pets program. Longoria, the Rays, and various community organizations, each donate $100 to the shelter for every home run he hits.
Pet Pal Animal Shelter is a no-kill nonprofit organization committed to rescuing dogs and cats from animal shelters that may otherwise be euthanized due to time limitations, illness, injuries or lack of socialization and training. Pet Pal is also dedicated to educating the public about the pet overpopulation crisis, and the importance of spaying/neutering.
During the month of January, 25 players from the Rays Minor League system train at Tropicana Field for a week. During this week, the players are brought to the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast in Pinellas Park where the players play games, do homework, and prepare an after school snack with the kids attending the local Boys & Girls Club. In the month of September, 50 Rays Minor Leaguers train at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte and these 50 players are brought to the Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte County to interact with the kids there. This teaches the players that community involvement is an important part of their baseball career and molds them to be role models for the youth in the communities in which they will play.
Since 2013, the Tampa Bay Rays and Pet Pal Animal Shelter have partnered to create the "Players and Pooches" calendar. The calendar features Rays players and coaches with their own pet or an adoptable pet from Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Proceeds from the calendar benefit Pet Pal Animal Shelter. More Information
Rays outfielder, Steven Souza Jr., hosts a charity fantasy football league, where draft participation fees benefit Big League Impact, as well as other Tampa Bay area charities. Big League Impact's mission is to save lives, restore dignity and instill hope in local communities and around the globe.
Before every Tuesday home game at Tropicana Field, the Rays host a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation or Children's Dream Fund at the ballpark as a part of a special program called "Tuesday's Champion." The kids, accompanied by their families, are invited to be on the field during batting practice where they can meet and interact with Rays players and coaches. They are then treated to dinner in the Rays Club before taking the field and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Along with these experiences, they are also given a personalized jersey and a bat. The children selected for the program are battling life-threatening illnesses and many come straight from the hospital for this special experience.
Rays Wives Programs
Throughout the baseball season, the Rays Wives plan and participate in various community events benefitting local organizations of their choice.
In conjunction with Dog Day at the Rays, the Rays Wives host two Pet Food Drives, benefiting Pet Pal Animal Shelter. During the second Pet Food Drive, the Rays Wives also host a charity auction utilizing autographed items from some of the most popular players around Major League Baseball. All proceeds from this auction are donated to Pet Pal Animal Shelter, to further assist in the execution of their mission.
The signature Rays Wives event, the Rays on the Runway Fashion Show is an annual event that hosts players and coaches who are paired with their significant other or a child participating from the Children's Dream Fund, an organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. The couples walk the runway and model the season's newest fashions. The event raises over $100,000 annually for the Children's Dream Fund.