GazetteXtra Print Article Logo URL: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/2017/11/08/cubsex-rays-manager-joe-maddon-bringing-back-thanksmas-program-to-help-tampa-bay-area-homeless/


Cubs/ex-Rays manager Joe Maddon bringing back Thanksmas program to help Tampa Bay area homeless

By Marc Topkin
Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation will serve meals and donate backpacks. [Photo: Respect 90 Foundation]

Current Cubs and former Rays manager Joe Maddon is bringing back his Thanksmas program to serve meals at homeless shelters across the Tampa Bay area next week.

Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation announced plans to visit Salvation Army centers in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Tampa's Trinity Café and Pinellas Hope.

In addition to serving the traditional holiday meal representing Maddon's Italian-Polish background, the Foundation, in partnership with CITYPAK, will provide custom designed High Sierra backpacks, and Under Armour socks, to the shelters.

As manager of the Rays, Maddon hosted Thanksmas events throughout the area from 2006-2013, and said after leaving for the Cubs he would reinstate the program. He and his wife, Jaye, still make their off-season home in Tampa, and the Respect 90 Foundation is based here.

Players from area high school teams – Steinbrenner, Tampa Jesuit, Northside Christian and Northeast – will be volunteers serving the meals.

Respect 90 also will donate backpacks to the Volunteers of America in St. Petersburg and the Homeless Empowerment Project in Clearwater, and is making donations to the St. Petersburg Family Promise program and the Bruce Fyfe Memorial Fund, honoring a man who worked on behalf of area homeless for more than 20 years.

Maddon's foundation will also host Thanksmas events in his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., in December and in Chicago in January.