Hamels Foundation offers help for schools in need

June 3, 2013 3:15:01 PM PDT
Phillies all-star pitcher Cole Hamels and his wife Heidi are doing their part to strike out poverty within Philadelphia's school system.

On Monday, three schools were chosen to be the recipients of a special gift from the Hamels Foundation.

The band at Shawmont Elementary in Roxborough often times plays with instruments older than their parents.

"20, 30, to 40 years old. Some of the instruments are in a complete state of disrepair, falling apart," Michael Graft, principal at Shawmont Elementary, said.

But today, Shawmont received $30,000 from the Hamels Foundation; that'll cover over a hundred new instruments.

While $20,000 more went to two other schools, one for art supplies, the other for a brand new library.

"It's unfortunate because we were given public educations with all the amenities and it really justified who we are, and so we are trying to start to give back so we can justify these kids and give them a dream," Cole said.

In this year of deep education cuts, the principals say the foundation money gives them a reason to be hopeful rather than a reason to despair

Until today, principal Sharen Fitzimmer had a school library with mainly donated books.

"We have zero in the operating budget. To believe that we're going to be able to get new books for our library for September, it is incredible, it's critical this year more than any before," Fitzimmer said.

The Hamels say this gives them perspective: the Phillies so-so season this year is just about a game, today is about the game of life.

"I honestly don't think I ever go to the grocery store ever without somebody saying thank you so much for what you do for our kids," Heidi said.


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