‘I just want to help’: Mariners’ Dee Gordon spends his off-season giving back

For eight months of the year, Dee Gordon's focus is on the field.

But during the off-season, that desire changes.

"I don't want no credit for anything. I just want to help," he told Q13 during a recent interview.

It's that mindset that led the Mariners' second baseman to Food for the Hungry.

"They help these people sustain their livelihood for years to come, and generations to come," he said.

Gordon joined the MLB initiative Striking Out Poverty in its inaugural year. For his first project, Gordon traveled to the Dominican Republic. In 2017, Gordon personally funded three different water projects that helped more than 3,000 people get clean water for the first time.

In 2018, Gordon wanted to help Syrian refugees after seeing how dire their situation was on the news. He quickly raised enough funds to pay for three months worth of milk and diapers for families in a Lebanese camp.

"I love my hometown, but people in America, sometimes we tend to get ungrateful," Gordon said. "You know, you tend to feel like it's supposed to happen instead of making it happen, and I just wanted to help people who are so poverty-stricken. Like yes, there is poverty here, but you still live in America. You can find something to eat. You can find a job."

This year, Gordon traveled to Rwanda and spent time with a community two hours outside of the capital city of Kigali.

"The couldn't build crops, plant crops because everything is made out of clay," Gordon said. "Clay doesn't grow anything. So they're teaching them how to make compost piles, where they can make fresh vegetables. I was at one lady's house, and she was like, 'This is my first time ever eating vegetables other than potatoes.'"

Gordon described how the nonprofit spends months in impoverished communities, teaching them about sanitation and how to use the sunlight to kill germs, "like little stuff like that we don't think about."

"You see the joy on their face, and you see the pride they have for what they did ... They take that and run with it, and that makes me so happy."

It's a happiness Gordon carries with him all season long as he plans his next trip, helping out wherever the projects take him.

"To see their faces when they say, 'We don't need you no more,' that's awesome," Gordon said. "That made me want to give my money more. I've always told people if I go broke, I'm going to go broke giving it away to somebody who needed it, and I'm OK with that."

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