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Yankees in the Community

The Mission

Girardi and President Obama

During an April 26, 2010, White House ceremony honoring the team's 2009 World Series championship, President Barack Obama publicly recognized the Yankees' HOPE Week initiative.

Introduced in 2009 and heading into its seventh year in 2015, the Yankees' HOPE Week initiative (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.

On each of five consecutive days during the celebration of HOPE Week, the Yankees shine a spotlight on a different individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support. Each day is designed so honorees can share their inspirational stories with Yankees players, fans and the media, while being surprised with the day of their dreams. Though each day's celebration ultimately culminates with a visit to Yankee Stadium on the day of a game, outreach typically takes place at a location in the community that symbolizes the accomplishments of the honoree.

At its core, HOPE Week is about people helping people. The one thing everybody has - no matter where they come from, what their financial situation is or what kind of skills they possess - is time. By involving every one of our players and coaches, Manager Joe Girardi, General Manager Brian Cashman and the entire front office staff during the celebration of HOPE Week, the Yankees are sending the message that everyone can give of themselves to make their community a better place.

Equally significant during HOPE Week is garnering publicity for the highlighted causes and organizations. The greatest challenge facing many not-for-profits is generating interest, awareness and funding for their missions.

United We Serve -

Since 2010, the Yankees have partnered with the White House's United We Serve initiative, raising awareness of the President's call for Americans to become more involved in community service. The Yankees encourage fans to visit to find volunteer opportunities in their communities.

Implementing the Initiative

The Yankees' HOPE Week initiative is an organizational effort, integrating players, coaches, the Yankees front office, dozens of sponsors and some of New York's most iconic social and corporate institutions.

This year will mark the fourth consecutive year in which all of the Yankees' U.S.-based affiliates will each hold their own HOPE Weeks, truly making this initiative one that the entire organization stands behind in words and in action.

The initial phase of HOPE Week planning involves the selection of the honorees. In order to draw on the most diverse and inspiring group possible, an online nomination form is made available to the public on Additionally, the Yankees Media Relations Department reviews general fan mail and independently reaches out to other public social institutions to find exceptional individuals to recognize.

HOPE Week is designed to be an event that fans look forward to every year. Throughout the five-day stretch of games, the HOPE Week narrative is woven into the Yankees' on-field activities. Honorees are treated like members of the team, joining players and coaches next to the hitting cage during batting practice and on the field after victories for celebratory high fives. They also participate in traditional pregame festivities, including ceremonial first pitches and the exchange of team lineup cards. Most importantly, all are given a platform to tell their inspiring stories in their own voices.

As is the HOPE Week tradition, all celebrants from prior years are invited back to celebrate with current honorees. The gesture of returning to give back where they once received symbolizes what HOPE Week aspires to be.

President's Volunteer Service Award

At the conclusion of the last five Yankees HOPE Weeks from 2010-14, the Yankees have been honored with the President's Volunteer Service Award, given "in recognition and appreciation of commitment to strengthening the nation and for making a difference through volunteer service." The awards were bestowed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which implements the President's Call to Service.

Click here to see the Presidential Certificate Awarded to the Steinbrenner family.

Click here to see the Presidential Certificate Awarded to the Yankees.

Click here to see the letter from President Obama to the Yankees.

The Impact

Each of the five honorees during HOPE Week is given a day of their dreams, complete with surprise elements involving Yankees players, dignitaries and celebrities. Throughout the entire process, local, national and international media are given the opportunity to film, record and report on events to allow for comprehensive storytelling over a complete range of media platforms. The goal is to give these exemplary individuals the largest possible audience to hear their inspirational messages.

All events are designed to generate attention and raise the profile of serious social issues affecting our nation and the world. Beyond getting these stories into the mainstream media, the Yankees organization looks to reward honorees for their fortitude in the face of adversity.

The attention that HOPE Week has brought to different causes and charities has changed lives permanently for the better. Within three weeks of being honored during the 2011 celebration, Daniel's Music Foundation was able to increase the number of students in its programs from 150 to 250, allowing 100 additional disabled men, women and children in New York City to receive free therapeutic music instruction. HOPE Week 2010 honoree Mohamed Kamara, who less than 10 years ago was foraging through the forests of war-torn Sierra Leone to provide food for his family, enjoyed a paid internship at the New York Stock Exchange in the summer of 2011 in recognition of his remarkable story.

The Yankees are proud that the Minnesota Twins have been inspired to hold their own HOPE Week the last four seasons. Other organizations and community groups, including the Rhode Island Interscholastic League and Dittman Incentive Marketing, have also begun similar HOPE-themed projects to honor heroes in their respective communities.

Direct Giving

The Yankees made the following donations in 2014 to honor the endeavors of HOPE Week honorees:

Career Gear ($10,000), Friends of Jaclyn ($10,000), Musicians on Call ($10,000) and Multiple Sclerosis Association of America ($10,000)

2014 HOPE Week Honorees

Friday, June 20
HOPE WEEK 2014 Quai Jefferson

When Quai Jefferson's mother, Vaida Jefferson, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 11 years ago, her son was just 6 years old. By the time he was 10, he was running the household, cooking, doing laundry and taking care of his mother in all respects. Now 18 years old, Quai recently graduated from St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey, where he was on the honor roll and a two-sport varsity athlete. This summer, he will attend the U. of Delaware, where he will play football and major in business administration. Yankees players CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, Dellin Betances, Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan, Yangervis Solarte and Jose Ramirez along with YES Network broadcaster and former Yankee John Flaherty met Quai and his mother for a surprise lunch at Quai's high school. The group was joined by select members of the St. Joseph Regional faculty who have had a profound influence on Quai's life.

Thursday, June 19
HOPE WEEK 2014 Musicians on Call

The non-profit group Musicians on Call provides volunteer musicians for hospital visits. Since its inception 15 years ago, the organization has had hundreds of volunteer musicians perform for over 300,000 individuals, with a focus on reaching patients who are confined to their rooms and afforded very little interaction with others due to their illnesses.

Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren and Chase Whitley, as well as former Yankee Bernie Williams went to the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian, where they performed in a concert with Musicians on Call in the hospital's "Winter Garden." They then visited patients who were confined to their rooms and were unable to attend the concert.

Wednesday, June 18
HOPE WEEK 2014 Friends of Jaclyn

In March 2004, 9-year-old Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. When the Northwestern University women's lacrosse team learned about what Jaclyn was going through they "adopted" her as an honorary member of the team. Later that spring, Northwestern won its first-ever national championship.

Seeing how much it meant to his daughter's recovery, Jaclyn's father, Denis, started Friends of Jaclyn, a foundation created to improve the quality of life of pediatric brain tumor patients by pairing them with collegiate and high school sports teams.

During their HOPE Week day, children in the Friends of Jaclyn program became honorary team members, receiving their own lockers in the clubhouse and joining the team for pregame activities.

Tuesday, June 17

Career Gear is an organization that helps promote the economic independence of low-income men by providing financial literacy training, professional attire and career development tools. Providing these men with a business suit is just the first step. The supportive environment of Career Gear allows its clients to make the connections and build the confidence to continue down the path of personal development.

With the help of over 80 referral agencies in the New York City area, Career Gear has helped over 35,000 men transition from poverty to employment and financial self-sufficiency.

Yankees players, including Derek Jeter and Jacob Ellsbury, visited Career Gear's office in lower Manhattan, where they helped to measure and outfit men with suits provided by DKNY.

Monday, June 16

The New York Yankees were proud to kick off HOPE Week on Monday, June 16, by bringing together representatives from all 25 prior HOPE Week days for a reunion at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The gathering celebrated the five-year anniversary of the initiative. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, former Yankees pitchers Mariano Rivera and David Cone, and current Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova attended in support of the honorees.

Past HOPE Week Honorees

For a look back on past year's HOPE Week Honorees, please visit our archives »