Former Dodgers Sweet Lou Johnson Educates Children’s Charity on Black History Month By Holly Goodrich
(PASADENA, CA)—Former Dodgers Sweet Lou Johnson has gone from showing the world what he does, to telling the world what he does. During Black History Month, Johnson came to visit special education students attending Hillsides Education Center in Pasadena and foster care children living at Hillsides, a Pasadena children’s charity serving Los Angeles County.
During the days when so many people were protesting racism, Johnson was out on the fields playing baseball. It was his way of making a difference. He wanted to show the world that he was a great ball player and that it didn’t matter what color your skin was. "I won’t let anything stop me," said Johnson of his twenty-year baseball career.
Johnson now works for the Dodgers Dream Foundation giving presentations and empowering individuals including students in special education and foster care children. While at the children’s charity and special education school, he tells of the importance of having a dream or goal. No matter where you come from in life, you can succeed.
He wants children like those at Hillsides to be survivors, rise up from where they started, and make something of themselves. Johnson challenges each foster care child at Hillsides and each student receiving special education instruction at Hillsides Education Center to aim high and "be the best you can be."
"Most people only remember me for two hits, the home run in the world series and the only hit/run in a perfect game. It is nice to be remembered for something, but I want to leave something behind," said Johnson.
At the end of Johnson’s visit, he invited the group of special education students and foster care children to a day at Dodgers Stadium. "It’s on me," said Johnson. He wants each of the foster care kids and students to experience the fun and excitement of a ball game: the roar of the crowd, the sound of the bat, and the taste of a ballpark hotdog.
"We all have a place in life to help out one another," said Johnson. And that is exactly what he did. He gave foster care children at Hillsides and special education students at Hillsides Education Center something to smile and dream about.
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About Hillsides: As a Pasadena charity founded in 1913, Hillsides creates safe places for children in foster care living in its residential treatment center and is a community treatment center preventing the cycle of abuse for children at risk and their families. To learn more about Hillsides, visit www.Hillsides.org.