To Pete Alonso, being a hero doesn’t have anything to do with playing professional sports. Instead, it is doctors and nurses, neighbors caring for each other and other “everyday heroes,” as he called them, who will be the focus of his new charity.
Alonso and his fiancee, Haley Walsh, launched their foundation, Homers for Heroes, on Wednesday, wanting to use the coronavirus pandemic as a springboard to doing good.
“We feel that we need to step up and help in any way possible,” the couple wrote in a letter on the charity’s website, homers4heroes.org. “As the world has shifted, we’ve been reminded of our most basic shared value — all of us depend on each other for a healthy community. As our lives have changed, we’ve been continually struck by the acts of kindness and humanity that we’ve seen emerge.”
In a similar missive posted to Twitter, Alonso wrote that Homers for Heroes’ mission is to “recognize the outstanding work of our heroes and to inspire everyone to be a hero in someone’s life.”
Alonso and Walsh plan to honor a hero every month and are taking nominations via the website’s “Nominate Your Hero” section.
As he waits for his second major-league season to start, Alonso is increasingly familiar with acts of kindness.
Last year, when he earned $1 million for winning the Home Run Derby, he donated $50,000 each to two charities, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. During the pandemic, Alonso has spent time sending video well wishes to health-care workers and, in one instance, a longtime Mets fan who is battling cancer.
Now Alonso wants to use his platform to spotlight others who do good.
“That is why we are starting Homers for Heroes,” he wrote. “We are raising money to support and thank the everyday heroes of this pandemic and also those who continue to take care of each other.”