Kirsters Baish| The Christmas season brings out the best in people. One Major League Baseball player gave the ultimate Christmas gift a little early this year. Children with special needs were given a major gift by Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi. The married couple made a huge donation which will surely change the lives of these special needs children forever.
Mr. and Mrs. Hamel took their $9.75 million mansion off the market. They had a different idea of what to do with the estate, and that idea was to donate it to charity.
A well-deserving organization received the mansion. The organization is called Camp Barnabas, and it is located in southern Missouri.
The mansion donated by the Hamels is 32,000 square feet, and was built in 2012. It stands on over 100 acres of forest. There is more than 1,700 feet of shoreline along Table Rock Lake that would be wonderful for the children to explore. Children with special needs and their families will greatly benefit from such a generous donation.
The organization is much more than a summer camp. Camp Barnabas is hoping to change the way special needs children and children with chronic illnesses see the world. This organization is also focused on helping the families who put their lives into helping and caring for their children.
It’s true that many charities in our country are deserving of a gift of this magnitude, however the Hamels had to admit something about Camp Barnabas touched them personally.
Hamel used to pitch for the Phillies, and played for them during the 2008 World Series. He explained that both he and his wife felt a calling to this specific charity.
“Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it,” Hamel explained. “Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”
The staff of Camp Barnabas are extremely touched by the gesture, and they are very thankful towards Hamel and his wife. This huge property will increase the camp’s ability to serve more families.
Chief Development Officer Krystal Simon explained, “This is so much more than a beautiful property. This incredible gift allows us to further our ministry and truly change thousands of lives for years to come.”
CEO of Camp Barnabas Jason Brawner explained that camp leadership had been looking to grow their ministry to more than just a summer camp. He went on to say, “We have no doubt this gift will allow us to do just that.”
The camp’s number one value is “Christ comes first, always,” according to their website. Camp Barnabas is already using their gift as a pointer to an even bigger gift — the person and work of Jesus Christ.
I’m sure the Hamels can sleep well knowing that they helped so many special families with their extremely generous donation. What a wonderful Christmas gift.