Bryce Harper donated $500,000 on Thursday toward coronavirus relief in Las Vegas and Philadelphia, the two cities the Phillies star considers to be home.
Harper and his wife, Kayla, donated to Direct Relief and Three Square in Las Vegas and Philabundance in Philadelphia. Direct Relief is a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Three Square is a food bank that provides more than 41 million meals per year throughout Southern Nevada. Philabundance is the largest food bank in the Philadelphia region and serves more than 24 million pounds of food a year to those in need.
“Las Vegas will always be my family’s first home,” Harper said. “Philadelphia, our home away from home, welcomed us with open arms from day one. These communities mean so much to us, and Kayla and I want to do our part to help battle the effects of the virus in Vegas and Philly.”
Harper returned last month to Las Vegas after spring training was canceled and the start of the regular season was suspended. It is unclear when (or if) baseball will be played in 2020. In the meantime, Harper is working out at home — including pushing a weighted sled in the street — and spending time with his 7-month-old son, Krew.
“We are blessed to be together as a family during this pandemic but realize many do not have the same luxury,” Harper said. “As the world battles COVID-19 and its effects, we are keeping the faith and praying for a swift return to normalcy.”
Harper joined the Phillies last year by signing a $330 million contract, the largest free-agent deal in baseball history. He’s now one of baseball’s highest-paid players and most popular figures. But Harper grew up in a working-class section of Vegas. His father was a union ironworker. His mother was a paralegal. As Harper climbed baseball’s ladder, he reminded himself to remember where he came from. And on Thursday, he made sure to remember the two places he calls home.
“Through the power of prayer and helping each other with pure intent and love, we will get through this together,” Harper said. “Faith in our Lord and savior will help heal the world. ... Now is the time to come together and adhere to the guidelines of medical professionals. We are wishing the best to all with our prayers during this time.”