As a child, Carlos Martinez, starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, didn’t always have access to basic necessities.
“When I was young, we didn’t have anybody to help me and my family,” he said. “I knew as soon as I made it into the big leagues, I would return to my hometown to help struggling families like mine.”
Martinez made good on that promise during a recent donation effort, with the help of UnitedHealthcare employees in St. Louis. The Cardinals’ home opener marked the final day in a month-long giving campaign to collect toothbrushes and toothpaste for the starting pitcher’s charity, the Tsunami Waves Foundation.
More than 500 toothbrushes and 220 tubes of toothpaste were donated, all of which will benefit children in Martinez’ native Dominican Republic.
Martinez surprised employees at the St. Louis office with an unannounced visit to personally pick up the boxes of donated dental items.
“We are able to reach more children now because of the employees at UnitedHealthcare,” Martinez said. “Words cannot describe my gratitude for UnitedHealthcare for the much-needed dental supplies. It breaks my heart to see so many young children suffer from tooth decay in my hometown.”