In The Spirit Of Giving

Texas Rangers Player Cole Hamels Found A Generous Alternative To Selling His Mansion

"We felt called to help them in a big way."

We love tinsel and trappings as much as the next Elf on the Shelf devotees, but here at A Plus, we believe that true wintertime magic comes in the form of connection and human kindness. Over the next month, come back and join us in raising a glass to those who give — because what's December without a little holiday spirit?

Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels just found the ultimate way to give back this holiday season

According to Yahoo! Sports, the MLB player and his wife Heidi had been building a mansion worth almost $10 million in Missouri when Hamels was traded from the Phillies to the Rangers in 2015. The family decided to live in Texas full time, but instead of selling their Missouri home, they chose to donate it. 

The 32,000-square-foot home, which includes more than 100 acres on Table Rock Lake, will go to Camp Barnabas, a faith-based nonprofit that offers programs for children with chronic illnesses and functional needs, as well as their siblings. According to the camp's website, "Every program and activity is adapted so each person, regardless of ability, can participate."

"There are tons of amazing charities in Southwest Missouri. Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings," Hamels is quoted as saying in a press release announcing the donation, which is the largest in the camp's history. "Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way."

Camp Barnabas includes two locations in Southwest Missouri, and has reportedly welcomed more than 75,000 campers and missionaries in its 24-year history. The camp offers scholarships and a medical facility. The Hamels' donation will no doubt have a huge impact on the organization and the lives of the families it serves.

"Our mission is to change lives through disability ministry, and we've been strategically looking for ways to expand our ministry outside of a summer camp. We have no doubt that this gift will allow us to do just that," said Camp Barnabas CEO Jason Brawner.

As Sports Illustrated points out, this isn't Hamels' first charitable gesture. He and his wife founded the Hamels Foundation while he was playing for the Phillies. The organization is "dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the power of education," in both the United States and Malawi.

Hamels also isn't the first athlete to donate to Camp Barnabas this month. The camp recently received a "major" donation from pro golfer Jordan Spief's Family Foundation, which will allow 100 campers to experience a week at the camp.

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