Like the Kung Fu Panda he is nicknamed after, the Giants' Pablo Sandoval makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. And not just because he recently made the All-Star roster, fulfilling a lifelong dream. He's also a giving guy.
Last week, the Giants star financed 40,000 identification kits for San Francisco students through the American Football Coaches Association/FBI National Child Identification Program. The program distributes free kits to parents.
Each year, more than 800,000 children run away or are abducted, and having their fingerprints on record makes it that much easier for cops to start the search. To date, 26 million kits have been distributed.
The American Football Coaches Association began the program in 1997 in response to the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, for whom the Amber Alert system was named. The FBI joined the program in 2001.
According to Tami Spencer, vice-president of operations, the program is looking to partner with more professional athletes. The kits cost about $2 to make, but are distributed for free.
"We've worked with Marcus Thomas, Rashied Davis, and Alan Ball," Spencer says. "But Pablo's contribution has been a lot larger."
And that is why we love our Panda.Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly.