Paul DeJong, the Cardinals’ All-Star shortstop, is stepping up to a different kind of plate to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating meals to Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) of St. Louis.
“Paul DeJong has donated funding to cover the cost of 11 nights’ worth of meals,” said Katie Layman of RMHC. “Burton Rocks, his agent (shown in photo, left, with DeJong) and his father, Dr. Lawrence Rocks have also donated three nights of meals each.”
DeJong will support the high-risk families served by the Ronald Mc Donald House by donating eleven meals as a nod to his jersey number. He had started wearing number 11 but gave it back to Jose Oquendo when he returned to the Cardinals coaching staff (wearing jersey 12 during that time). When Oquendo left the staff DeJong went back to number 11.
Joining him in this effort are the Rocks family who will each be donating three additional meals.
When the meals are donated, families will also receive DeJong’s exclusive “TOPPS of the Class” baseball cards, promoting science and literacy. DeJong, Burton Rocks, and Lawrence Rocks are all serving as science and literacy ambassadors for the 2020 Topps of the Class promotion.
DeJong got involved with the Ronald House after hitting a home run that broke the “Big Mac Land” sign at Busch Stadium. He bought the sign and donated the money to RMHC.
“The shattering of the Big M was a divine start to our partnership,” said DeJong,. I’m committed to the children and families involved in the Ronald McDonald house. We hope to instill hope and imagination through baseball, education, music and some home cooking.”
Burton Rocks and his family are no strangers to the importance of keeping families close; as he was in and out of hospitals as a child and into his adult life.
RMHC® of St. Louis is facing unprecedented challenges because of the extra steps it now needs to take to keep medically fragile children safe and healthy. Its Meals from the Heart program that accounts for nightly dinner at all three Ronald McDonald House locations has suspended the usual in-person volunteer opportunity and moved to a safer meal delivery system.
Individuals interested in joining DeJong and the Rocks Family to help families of seriously ill children during the pandemic and enter to win an autographed TOPPS card of their own (shown below) can learn more at www.rmhcstl.com/belikepaul.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis
Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis provides a home-away-from-home to families of seriously ill children traveling to St. Louis for medical treatment. The organization has grown from an eight-bedroom facility in 1981 to now include three Houses, eight extended-stay apartments, and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, which are located inside Mercy Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. RMHC programs not only provide access to quality health care, but they also enable family-centered care, ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s care. For more information, visit rmhcstl.com. To see the most up-to-date program changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit rmhcstl.com/covid19.