As of the 2015 U.S. Census, 34 percent of children were living in single-parent homes. It goes without saying the financial and emotional strains many of these families face and it’s something Denard Span knows all too well.
Span now plays center field for the San Francisco Giants, but back in the day, he played baseball for and graduated from Tampa Catholic as a standout baseball player. Even though his talents have taken him to the west coast, he is still finding time to help the people in the community he came from. Kids just like Reginald Lowe and Trevon Roberts.
“You see a lot of different things [in Sulpher Springs]. It’s known for it’s behavior, but there’s a lot of interesting things about Sulpher Springs,” says Roberts, 20.
Roberts comes from a home of eight kids. He is the fifth oldest and says his mother did everything she could to provide for everyone, despite the hardships of being the only adult provider in the house.
Reginald Lowe, 19, has a similar story.
“Coming out of middle school, I was a pain in the butt,” says Lowe. “But I realized it was time for me to grow up. Even though my dad used to tell me I wouldn’t be anything when I grow up.”
It’s kids like them that Span is really trying to help with the Denard Span Foundation. This year is their second annual holiday event providing 100 single-parent families in Tampa with gifts for Christmas.
Roberts says it’s more than just getting presents though.
“The greatest thing he gave us was hope. It wasn’t about the presents, it was knowing that someone was there, having our back. [A person] who was there just to tell us to keep going,” says Roberts.
While Span has done so much for his community already, he wants the ability to do so much more and that’s where you come in. His foundation is asking for donations so that they can help more families this year. Span will be at Acropolis Restaurant on Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa on Sunday, December 4 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. He will be signing autographs as well as taking pictures and would love to get some donations from the community as well.
Donations that will no doubt help young people like Reginald and Trevon.
For more information on the Denard Span Foundation and their work in the Tampa Bay community,visit their website at denardspanfoundation.org.