Trades change everything. When Cole Hamels was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Texas Rangers in 2015, he and his wife Heidi had been building a mansion near Branson, Missouri, in an area called Table Rock Lake. Once the family made the move to Texas, they decided that’s where they wanted to live full time. So what about the $9.75 million house they’d been building?
Cole and Heidi finally found something to do with it. Instead of selling it, they’ve donated it to a Branson-area non-profit organization called Camp Barnabas. Camp Barnabas offers day camp programs for kids with chronic illnesses and special needs, matching each camper with their own volunteer and offering scholarships so no kid is turned away. And to make sure they can accommodate every kid regardless of any kind of need, they have a full medical facility on staff with doctors and nurses.
In a press release about the donation, Cole Hamels explained why he and his wife decided to make this donation:
“There are tons of amazing charities in Southwest Missouri. Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings,” says Cole Hamels. “Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”
The 32,000 square foot mansion sits on 100 acres, and it’s the largest gift in the history of the organization. It’s not known right now if Camp Barnabas plans to incorporate the Table Rock Lake house into their programs (the camp already has a location at Table Rock Lake), or if they have other plans.
No matter what, this enormously generous gift will benefit thousands of kids with special needs and chronic illnesses, as well as their parents, siblings and friends. The holidays are a time for giving and thinking of others, and Cole and Heidi Hamels obviously take that sentiment to heart.
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