As part of the Rays partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, each year, Rays employees volunteer to be a Big Brother or Big Sister and mentor a student at Campbell Park Elementary School which is located next to Tropicana Field. In addition to providing guidance and companionship through weekly mentoring, the Bigs also bring their Littles to a Rays game during the season.
In August 2019, the Tampa Bay Rays delivered school supplies, backpacks, uniforms, hygiene products, sports equipment and Rays giveaway items to the students at Escuela Basica Patria Mirabal, a primary school adjacent to the Rays Academy in Guerra, Dominican Republic. On the first day of school, each student received their very own backpack full of the aforementioned items, a very special lunch catered by our Executive Chef from the Rays Academy and topped off the day with an ice cream party. The afternoon included the chance to play baseball, lots of dancing and a number of other games alongside the community engagement department and Rays Academy staff. The teachers were also provided with a substantial supply of items for use throughout the school year. Additionally, the Rays hired a local contractor to make significant improvements to the school's infrastructure, including the addition of running water. The installation of a well and a functional sink made the school eligible for a government-funded hot lunch program. The improvements also included painting both the interior and exterior of the buildings, installing brand new restrooms facilities, laying the foundation for a basketball court and providing the necessary playing equipment. The impact was felt throughout the neighborhood and around much of Guerra, with over 200 in attendance and readying more than 100 children for the upcoming school year. The Rays are planning to stay closely connected to the school for the foreseeable future.
The Rays Employee Community Outreach Team (ECOT) was established in 2008 to provide invaluable volunteer hours to community service agencies that enhance or improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. Service projects are chosen from ideas suggested by an employee led committee. Volunteering not only benefits the community, but also Rays employees, by allowing them to give back in a meaningful way through the course of their normal work day. In total, Rays employees have logged more than 38,500 volunteer hours to support nonprofits in the Tampa Bay region.
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, to date, the Tampa Bay Rays have funded and built two homes for deserving families in Pinellas County. Rays employees provided over 1,000 volunteer hours on each of the construction sites. For Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, the first Rays-sponsored home marked the first time in the nonprofit's 30-year history that a corporate funding partner also provided more than 90 percent of the manpower hours required to build the home.
KaBOOM! works to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. The Tampa Bay Rays mission is to energize our community through the magic of Rays baseball. Through this partnership with KaBOOM!, the Rays ensure children will have the joyful childhood they deserve. The Rays support KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting a child's right to active play at home, school, and in the community. The Rays, in partnership with KaBOOM! have completed seven projects for the following organizations: CASA, Citizen's Alliance for Progress, James B. Sanderlin Family Center, Layla's House, Team Success, University Area CDC, and YMCA Camp Christina.
Since 2006, one day per week, Rays employees deliver meals to homebound seniors in St. Petersburg. The deliveries provide seniors with not only a nutritious, balanced meal that they would otherwise not have access to, but also conversation and companionship.
Throughout the year, Rays employees visit the Ronald McDonald House in St. Petersburg to provide the families of patients at local children’s hospitals a home cooked meal. Rays employees purchase the food, then cook and serve the meal while socializing with the families.
- Breaking Barriers - "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" is a baseball themed program that gives kids strategies to overcome obstacles in their lives. The curriculum is based on the values demonstrated by Jackie Robinson. The Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, which encourages children to write about barriers they have faced or are still facing in their lives and how they used the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson to deal with those barriers. Each year, Major League Baseball designates April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day, celebrating and paying homage to the Hall of Famer who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947.
- Childhood Cancer Awareness Day - Major League Baseball dedicates a special Childhood Cancer Awareness Day at all ballparks each September as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In partnership with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Major League Baseball and its Clubs raise awareness for the fight against childhood cancer by having all Major League players, coaches, umpires and grounds crew members wear gold ribbon decals and wristbands. Through this effort, the Tampa Bay Rays partner with local hospitals and organizations focused on pediatric cancer to raise awareness for the fight against childhood cancer.
- Commissioner's Community Initiative - Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) will again offer to all 30 Clubs and the players a ticketing program that is designed to support our collective goal of providing tickets to children and children's charities, deserving groups supported by the MLBPA, public servants and community and civic groups who might not otherwise have a chance to attend a Major League Baseball game. Learn More
- Father's Day - Major League Baseball and all 30 Clubs join the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to "Keep Dad In The Game" by dedicating Father's Day to the fight against prostate cancer, the most common non-skin cancer in America. MLB supports the Prostate Cancer Foundation's annual "Home Run Challenge" to benefit PCF's efforts to raise funds for prostate cancer research and awareness.
- Lou Gehrig Day - Major League Baseball and all 30 Clubs are committed to finding a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The Rays support and partner with ALS Association Florida Chapter to raise awareness and funds for the fight against this debilitating illness.
- Mother's Day - Major League Baseball and all 30 MLB Clubs champion Mother's Day every year to raise significant awareness and support for the fight against breast cancer. In seeking a cure for this all-too-pervasive disease, Baseball stands with the countless women, men and their families affected each year.
- Roberto Clemente Day - Each year in the month of September, Major League Baseball celebrates Roberto Clemente Day. The Rays celebrate Roberto Clemente Day as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, to honor the life and career of Roberto Clemente. Additionally, each year, every Major League Baseball team nominates a player for the annual Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award nominees are the players from each club who best represent the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
- UMPS CARE - BLUE Crew Tickets is a ticket program through Major League Baseball umpires' UMPS CARE Charities. The program offers memorable baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption and kids in youth mentoring programs. The BLUE Crew Tickets experience at Tropicana Field includes complimentary game tickets, an on-field meet-and-greet with photo opportunities, a game ball, and Rays memorabilia.