Paul Goldschmidt Receives Award for 'Outstanding Commitment to Community'

St. Louis Cardinals' first basemen Paul Goldschmidt was named the winner of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award for 2023, thanks to his "outstanding commitment to both his community and philanthropy."

It's not at all surprising to those who know just how much Paul Goldschmidt does for the community. In addition to supporting many other organizations internationally and here at home in St. Louis, over the last few years, Goldy has donated $100,000 in support of Friends of Kids with Cancer's winter programming for children and families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis.

Friends of Kids with Cancer provides many unique services over the winter months to children treated in St. Louis for pediatric cancers and blood-related diseases like Sickle Cell Disease and Leukemia—all at no cost to families. The charity could not provide these services without the generosity of donors like Paul Goldschmidt, whose individual donations are one of the highest Friends of Kids with Cancer receives.

Winter Wonderland is a beloved event held for many years to help families celebrate the winter holidays—something many children miss by being out of school or isolated from peers and activities due to their diagnosis. It's a party where kids can be silly among other children going through similar medical experiences. Parents can witness the joy on their children's faces and relax while Friends of Kids with Cancer provides food, candy, entertainment, and gifts for all their children.

Each year, Friends of Kids with Cancer provides new coats, hats, gloves, and scarves for patients and their siblings to help keep warm in the winter season. This eliminates the cost and hassle of buying a different sized coat for the new winter season, helping parents focus on other needs.

Families are referred by hospital partners to become "adopted" for the holidays. Each family member's wish list is granted thanks to volunteers who purchase individualized presents for all family members. Some families range from two to ten members, each having their entire wish lists fulfilled for the holidays.

The St. Louis community hosts a range of events from holiday light experiences to plays and stage productions. Friends of Kids with Cancer purchases tickets to provide these experiences to families during the winter months. 

Our partnering hospitals also get some cheer during the holiday season. Friends of Kids with Cancer places nine Elf on the Shelf elves throughout treatment centers with cheerful and fun scenarios for 12 days in December. Patients receive prizes for finding the elf each day. In addition, Friends brings a Holiday Store inside the hospital for patients to "shop" for their families.

There are many other individualized opportunities to care for patient families in the winter months such as Smile Makers and Memory Makers. One special Christmas Smile Maker helped a family receive a Christmas tree and decorations for their home. One special Christmas Memory Maker for a terminal patient allowed for him to have a "Christmas morning" in his hospital room during the month of November, including matching pajamas, treats, presents, and more.

Friends of Kids with Cancer does so much in the winter months to give families a truly memorable year, thanks in part to the generous $50,000 donation from Paul Goldschmidt for the last two consecutive years. The organization is thrilled to hear about Goldy being recognized for his commitment to the community, something Friends of Kids with Cancer has felt since meeting him.

Thank you, Paul Goldschmidt, for your commitment to the pediatric cancer community and for helping kids with cancer... be kids!