Kerry and Sarah Wood, Wood Family Foundation

NET WORTH$40 million (estimated)

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Former baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees

FUNDING AREAS: Childhood Development.

OVERVIEW: The Woods support childhood development initiatives in Chicago through the foundation’s Pitch-In program. The foundation also funds a scholarship program at University of Illinois at Chicago.

BACKGROUND: Kerry Wood was raised in Texas and rose to fame as a pitcher for the Major League Baseball organization. He co-holds the record for most strikeouts in a single game (20). He retired from baseball in May 2012 and resides in Chicago with his wife, Sarah, who is from Waukegan, Illinois.

ISSUES: Kerry and Sarah Wood developed the Wood Family Foundation (WFF) in June 2011 to “improve the lives of children in Chicago.” The foundation believes that  “[d]espite the curveballs that may come their way, everyone should be given a chance in life regardless of resources or geography. The Wood Family Foundation facilitates relationships that provide support and opportunities to empower youth and their families to succeed in life.” The Pitch In program, which provides after-school mentorship for students in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, is the foundation’s most prominent program.

Kerry and Sarah first began engaging philanthropy through its support for a playroom at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Since that time, the Woods have sponsored back-to-school supply and clothing drives, summer baseball clinics, and toy drives for Chicago Public School students in targeted neighborhoods. The Woods have since collaborated with the University of Illinois at Chicago to offer scholarships for graduating seniors from vulnerable and low-income neighborhoods in Chicago.

In a Huffington Post interview, Kerry has said that he supports “[a]nything to do with kids, anything we can do to help. Any organization in the community that needs help and wants to help out kids, we want to be involved in.”

The Woods are prefer a direct and involved approach to philanthropy rather than simply making grants. Although WFF does not publicize grant application guidelines or deadlines, they may be reached by email at mike@woodfamilyfoundation.org. .

CONTACT

Alex, Wood Family Foundation
121 W. Wacker St., Ste. 619
Chicago, IL, 60601
(312) 291-9425
(312) 924-9234
alex@woodfamilyfoundation.org