Players Pay It Forward
Photos courtesy Washington Capitals

Players Pay It Forward

The holiday season is upon us and if you’re looking to give back this holiday season, charity is a wonderful way to do so. In this spirit of giving, On Tap caught up with the Caps and the Wizards to find out what charitable organizations our favorite local players and teams support.

The Washington Capitals 

#88 Nate Schmidt
Defending the Blueline. This organization helps give military kids the opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. They provide things like free equipment, hockey camps and financial assistance. www.defendingtheblueline.org

#25 Jason Chimera
Make-A-Wish Foundation. The team has supported this organization for a long time.www.wish.org.

#77 T.J. Oshie
I support March of Dimes. They are dedicated to fighting premature birth. I also have supported the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is a great event that raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer’a research. www.marchofdimes.org and www.act.alz.org

#4 Taylor Chorney
Team 25 – Shjon Podein Children’s Foundation. This organization is special to me and is dedicated to helping sick children who need it most. They offer assistance to a lot of different organizations. www.givemn.org

#8 Alex Ovechkin
I support the the American Special Hockey Association. This foundation supports players with develop­mental disa­bilities and gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey. Also, Make-A-Wish Foundation. They help grant the wishes of children diagnosed with a serious medical conditions.www.americanspecialhockey.org and www.wish.org.

#43 Tom Wilson
I support Teammates for Kids, which does a lot to help kids.  A big part of what they do is support children’s health, education and help offer sports and recreation opportunities to inner city children. www.teammatesforkids.com

#46 Michael Latta
Make-A-Wish Foundation. Monumental has been a great supporter of this organization for many years. www.wish.org

The Washington Wizards
#3, Bradley Beal
I’m big on making awareness of children who are sick, kids in hospitals. That’s what I like to do – buy Christmas gifts for them, for the families who might not be able to be afford gifts. And on Thanksgiving we’ll have food drives for less fortunate families. Those are the main ones I participate in.

#13, Marcin Gortat
I do a lot of things with the Polish military. I send different kids from Poland to the United States to be able to see games – pretty much families who lost a father or mother in Afghanistan or Iraq. I’m sending military kids to camps visiting different bases, doing basketball camps in the base. I interact with the soldiers. At the end of the summer I always have a celebrity game with my celebrities versus members of the Polish Army and we usually have 14,000-15,000 people in the stands. And I have my foundation, too — MG13 “Aim High.”

#22, Otto Porter
One big thing here in D.C. is the homeless. There are a lot of homeless here that need to be attended to, especially here in the Capital. It’s right here in our backyards and a lot of people don’t even realize it. I’m always donating things – clothes, shoes, whatever I can do to help.

#1, Jared Dudley
The big thing for me I’m always big on the Boys and Girls Club. I grew up with that since I was a little kid. At one point in time, my mom didn’t have any money and the Boys and Girls Club gave us Christmas presents so I’m huge into that. It’s giving to the community – the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA’s and hospitals.

#45, DeJuan Blair
Christmas and Thanksgiving are really important. On Christmas, I like to give the less fortunate presents, and on Thanksgiving, I’m giving food out. Those are the two biggest holidays for giving for me.

General Manager, Ernie Grunfeld
A lot of our players give out turkeys to hundreds of families. We have something called Family-to-Family where all of our players buy Christmas gifts for a specific family who doesn’t have it as good as they do. It’s TV’s and all kinds of toys and food to make a little holiday cheer for everybody. Almost all of our players do it and hand-deliver it to their homes.