Phillies giving back to the community

PHILADELPHIA - October 21, 2008 - "It's important that we back them, because they back us," said Charles Hinson of South Philadelphia.

Charles Hinson is one of the hundreds of men in this area who benefit from the Bethesda project, an organization that helps the homeless. It is also one of several charities the Phillies donate money and time.

"Each year we hold our big annual fundraising event , they donate items to us for our auction," said Beth Palubinsky, the Director of the Bethesda Project.

And around the holidays the Phillies bring a lunch to one of the large homeless shelters that Bethesda runs.

"It's a real boost, it's a real holiday celebration," Palubinsky said. "It kicks off a lot of the holiday season for the homeless men."

Like the people at the Bethesda Project, the ALS Association of the Greater Philadelphia Area is rooting especially hard for the Phils to take the World Series. It has been the principal charity of the Phillies since 1984 and they've helped raise more than $10.1 million for the charity.

"You can't imagine how many people care so much about the community they're in. I'm thrilled. For people with ALS, every single one of them is glued to TV sets watching Phillies every week," said Jim Pinciotti of the ALS Association.

The players themselves are individually passionate when it comes to giving back.

This year, Brad Lidge started "Lidge's Legions". As part of the program, he is purchasing $10,000 in tickets, concessions and caps for child cancer patients at Children's Hospital.

Chase Utley and Shane Victorino hosted an annual charity bowling tournament in April. The event raised over $150,000 for Philadelphia Futures, which is a mentoring program for inner city high school students. Shane invited several teammates to participate in this year's event.

The players also make visits to CHOP to brighten the spirits of ill children.

A lot of people in Philadelphia pulling for the Phillies because, they say, the Phillies have spent a lot of time pulling for them.

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