Robinson Cano made news this week with his trade to the New York Mets, putting him back in the city where he began his career. His philanthropic work, however, began in his home of the Dominican Republic.
Cano carries out a bulk of his charity work through his RC24 Foundation (also called the RC22 Foundation when he wore a different jersey number with the Seattle Mariners), an organization he founded in 2013. With a mission to “positively impact the lives of underserved children and communities both locally and globally,” the foundation supports a variety of philanthropic initiatives.
The organization’s highest-profile project has been the RC22 DREAM School, built in one of the most impoverished communities in Cano’s hometown of San Pedro de Macoris. The school has educated over 200 children since opening in 2015 and also offers parental training and educational opportunities to adults in the community.
The RC24 Foundation works locally as well, having awarded scholarships to Seattle-area students and partnering to cohost fundraisers and share resources with several charitable organizations in Seattle, including Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and City Year.
Cano’s philanthropic work is now well-known to Seattle, and New York will surely welcome back one of its biggest supporters of children’s charities. A pediatric recovery ward in Hackensack, New Jersey, just across the river from the Bronx, even renamed itself after Cano because the former Yankee had spent so much time and money aiding in the hospital’s work.
Cano has also made sure his hometown has seen an increase in health funding over the years, helping to buy modern ambulances and provide medical supplies to serve San Pedro de Macoris, a city of nearly 200,000 residents who often do not receive the critical health resources and services they need. “I came from a poor town,” Cano says of his charity efforts. “It’s important to give back to the community.”
Continuing to live out his foundation’s mission statement, Cano held his fourth annual Canoche fundraiser in Seattle this past spring. His inaugural event in 2015 raised over $1 million in just a few hours, with guests including CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez and Jay-Z, whose Roc Nation Sports agency signed Cano as its first client in 2013.
Seattle may miss one of its biggest champions of philanthropy, but he has provided a pathway for others to follow in his footsteps. Meanwhile, the New York City community will be fortunate to have him back!