Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal speaks at HOPE Week event (Photo by Herbert Delancey)

Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal speaks at HOPE Week event (Photo by Herbert Delancey)

You would think when you are an owner of the legendary New York Yankees, interacting with the players and watching games would be the best part of the job. Not true for Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal. She looks forward to the one week off the field called HOPE Week, organized by the Yankees. Hope is an acronym for Helping Others Persevere and Excel. Recently, at the kickoff event at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, I spoke to the general partner-vice chairperson of the Yankees about why HOPE week is her favorite.

“It’s my favorite week. It’s not as much about being at the Yankee game. I’m blessed that I get to do that. It’s about going to the homes and going and serving the food. That’s where my heart is and that’s what I love to do. That’s why its made it so special to me to be able to do the behind-the-scenes and to do the actual hands on with people.”

Jennifer’s father, George Steinbrenner, was well known for philanthropy, something that he passed down to his children. “We were very close as a family and my father always believed that ‘you make the world a better place, but you don’t tell anybody about it. You do it quietly and behind-the-scenes.’ I’d like to think that our foundation does that within the Yankees. We try to do as much as we can to make it great, and it really is all about the people here, not about us.”

So for Steinbrenner-Swindal, being able to give back through the HOPE Week initiatives makes every day a holiday. “Every year for the last five years we’ve had such amazing stories of people helping other people. We’re so blessed within the Yankees to have the ability to bring light to people who are making a difference in this world …for me to be here its just every day, it’s like Christmas, to be able to give a surprise to somebody and make their world better.”

Unlike many organizations who plan community service events for one day of the year, the Yankees do this for an entire week. But outside of the week, the New York Yankees are doing their part in giving back to the community the other 51 weeks of the year, but they are doing so in the vision of George Steinbrenner, without the cameras and without telling anyone about it.

Derrel Johnson

Lover of Christ, sports, hip-hop, my hometown of Harlem and much more. IG @JazzJohnson1

  • la

    I totally agree with Jennifer. It’s basically living out the phrase “don’t let you left hand know what the right is doing”. You step behind the scenes and do what you can. That’s what makes this world great, and let’s people know there’s still good people out there.

  • kb

    The Steinbrenners are actually quite generous. I heard a story where The Boss gave money to this young girl who had suffered severe head trauma in an accident years ago and he said not to tell anyone about it so she didn’t. That is until he passed away then she let it become known. The Boss also founded the Silver Shield Foundation which pays for the educations of childrens of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Tampa. He also paid for less fortunate children’s college tuition and rebuilt a ball field in a poor neighboorhood. He supported the Boys and Girls Club as well as the Salvation Army. His son and current Yankees managing general partner, Hal is on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girl Club of Tampa. He donated $1 million to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. They Yankees do this Christmas thing every year at Yankee Stadium where they give toys to less fortunate children. They also send care packages to the troops. The list of philanthropic efforts go on and on.