Wells' charitable efforts in documentary
Outfielder's Perfect 10 foundation helping homeless children
TORONTO -- A few years ago, Vernon Wells received a call from Rangers third baseman Michael Young, a close friend and former teammate of the Blue Jays' center fielder. Young invited Wells to take part in a small charity event for some local children near his home in Arlington, Texas.
It was an event that ended up having an enormous impact on Wells.
"We went shopping for some homeless kids in Arlington that actually live in a motel," Wells said on Friday. "It's actually only a couple blocks away from Cowboys Stadium and the ballpark. We went shopping and kind of just started to understand how the city has changed since we were in school 12 years ago. It opened our eyes."
After seeing the conditions that the children lived in, Wells and his wife, Charlene, decided that they had to do more. In 2007, Wells created the Perfect 10 Foundation and has dedicated part of his time to helping the many homeless children in the area he grew up in.
At 7:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 23, Rogers Sportsnet Ontario will air the Perfect 10 documentary, detailing the efforts of Wells and a handful of baseball's biggest stars. The program will also air on Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. PT on RSN Pacific, at 8:30 p.m. ET on RSN East and at 9:30 p.m. MT on RSN West.
The documentary also features outfielder Torii Hunter, second baseman Orlando Hudson, outfielder Josh Hamilton and former big leaguer Bernie Williams. Wells and Young teamed with Taunee Taylor, the assistant vice president of player and community relations with the Rangers, as well as Arlington police officer and Mission Arlington volunteer Stephanie Gillespie in creating the foundation.
"Taunee Taylor kind of orchestrated the whole thing," Wells said. "From that point on, it was just a matter of, 'What can we do?'"
In November, Wells held an inaugural charity golf tournament to raise money for the foundation, which has also used auctions to generate funds. He has also held events near the motels that house the homeless families in order to provide meals and other essential items.
The long-term goal is to create a general residential operation for children. The facility will also offer short-term shelter for children displaced by Child Protective Services. The foundation also provides assistance to other non-profit organizations that help children in need.
"Right now, we've done a couple of cookouts at some of these motels with the Salvation Army," said Wells, a father of two young boys. "Unfortunately, a lot of these kids don't even know when their next meal is going to be and they've had to go through dumpsters to find their lunch or dinner.
"It's small things like that. We kind of go out and allow them to have a decent meal. Our ultimate goal is to build a children's home for these kids."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.