By Allen Palmeri
CHESTERFIELD—When Albert Pujols launched the Pujols Family Foundation in 2005, he did so to bless one nation.
The object of his charitable giving has always been his native Dominican Republic, a Caribbean nation of 9.4 million people that occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola. That is his focus—but it may expand.
“We’re open to everything, pretty much,” he told The Pathway in a Nov. 11 interview. “This is God’s foundation. This is not our foundation.”
Pujols, who will turn 30 on Jan. 16, has also poured a lot of time, energy, and money into the needs of St. Louis, the city where he has spent his entire major league baseball playing career. His 12-year-old daughter, Isabella, has Down syndrome, so the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis has been a major beneficiary in the 2000s. Having earned his United States citizenship in 2007, he now calls Missouri home.
When Pujols gives, he is thinking evangelism.
“It’s not about just writing the check, but also getting the opportunity to share where that gift comes from,” he said. “It’s from Christ.”
Pujols is a multi-millionaire. He is also a three-time National League Most Valuable Player. If the Cardinals want to keep him for the rest of his career, they may need to shell out $300 million.
“My goal is wherever He takes me, wherever He leads me, just follow,” Pujols said. “Right now, it’s here in the city of St. Louis, going back to the Dominican Republic, and we always pray about it before we do anything—to ask God to show us where He wants us to go with this.”
Pujols used his public appearance here at the The Crossing, a non-denominational church, to thank those who have donated money to the foundation. Many lives have been changed through their giving, he said.
“There’s more to do, and we just thank you so much for that support that you guys have given us, entrusting us with your money,” he said.