On June 1, 2011, Josh Lindblom’s childhood dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player came true when he made his Major League debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Growing up in West Lafayette, Indiana, Lindblom attributes much of his success to those who impacted his life and, since then, has been committed to giving back to the community.
“I was born and raised in Lafayette,” says Lindlblom. “So obviously this community has a soft spot in my heart.”
The Josh Lindblom Foundation was officially launched this past summer to raise funds for families and children in need, and to provide financial support for other charitable organizations. However, the groundwork of the foundation had been established years before when Josh and his wife, Aurielle, were growing up in West Lafayette. Throughout their life paths, Josh and Aurielle Lindblom felt the need to give back to the people and community where their journey began. Their mission is to facilitate the dreams of others while supporting underprivileged children and families. And while the foundation was established with Josh Lindblom’s name, Josh accredits much of the foundation’s success to Aurielle.
“My name is on the foundation, but she is just as much, if not more, involved in everything that we do,” says Lindblom. “We don’t have anybody to run the foundation, we do everything together, so I guess you could call her the heartbeat of the foundation. When you come to talk to us, the one thing that we wanted was that it was my wife and me, and not some other marketing manager that didn’t really know what was in our hearts or what our passions were.”
In early 2012, the foundation presented its first Charity Game Night event, which hosted over 300 participants, including Indiana Senator Ron Alting and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. Those in attendance had the opportunity to play casino games such as poker, blackjack, roulette and craps, as well as bid on sports memorabilia during a live and silent auction. With the support of the local community, Josh and Aurielle raised $20,000 in direct support of the Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette. Food Finders currently distributes over 3,500 backpacks each week, and more than 6 million pounds of food annually to a network of non-profit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout Indiana.
“Last year, we supported the Food Finders Food Bank,” said Lindblom. “In their program, they provide food on the weekends for kids so they have something to eat. A lot of people don’t think about the other two days of the week, and how underprivileged kids get food. So they’re able to provide meals for the kids and their families.”
While pitching for the Dodgers this past season, the Josh Lindblom Foundation was also heavily involved with the Dream Center of Los Angeles, a volunteer-driven organization that finds and fulfills the needs of individuals and families alike. Some of the services offered at the Dream Center include residential rehabilitation, a shelter for victims of human trafficking and homeless families, mobile hunger relief, and a foster care intervention outreach that works closely with Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services.
“When we were in Los Angeles, we were very involved with the Dream Center, and [Aurielle] was just as involved as I have been. That’s something that we felt was very important.”
On June 13th this past summer, the Josh Lindblom Foundation officially debuted in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium before their game against the Anaheim Angels. The pregame ceremony hosted over 500 people from the Dream Center, and included coaches and teammates such as Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman and All-Star center fielder Matt Kemp.
“To take 5 minutes out of the pregame festivities to honor and recognize what I’ve been doing in the community is awesome,” said Lindblom. “The support that the Dodgers gave us, and still are giving us even though I’m not there anymore, is awesome. They helped us out a lot with the Dream Center and donations. The Dream Center is only a couple of blocks away from Dodger Stadium, so it was really cool to be able to have everyone currently residing at the Dream Center come out to the game. It was a really special night, and I even got to pitch that night.”
Another distinguishing pillar of the Josh Lindblom Foundation is the Answer the Call Program. The program began in the beginning of the 2012 season when Lindblom was based in the Dodgers bullpen. Each call to enter a game throughout the season directly donated $52 to the Dream Center in L.A. and $52 to the Josh Lindblom Foundation’s efforts back in Lafayette. The Lindbloms consider each opportunity to enter a game as another opportunity to impact the community. To date, the Answer the Call Program has raised nearly $3,000.
“I think the most important thing I realized is that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to give back, and I feel an obligation to do that,” says Lindblom. “And the important thing to also realize is that we’re not defined by the sport we play or our ERA. That’s not what defines us, it’s the heart that we have for others. To make everybody feel like they’re important no matter if they’re high or low on your totem pole, or who they are and what they’ve been through, it’s important to show others what life’s all about.”
In July, Lindblom was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in part of a move that brought All-Star outfielder Shane Victorino to the Dodgers. Despite the move, Lindblom plans on becoming just as involved in the Philadelphia community as he was in Los Angeles.
“When I was traded to Philadelphia, we visited a couple of places,” said Lindblom. “The Phillies are great with giving back to the community, and we’re definitely going to be involved in the community there.”
Later this year, the Josh Lindblom Foundation will host its second annual Charity Game Night at the Lafayette Theater on December 8th in Indiana. The event will host similar festivities as the first event, including casino gaming, live and silent auctions, and the opportunity to make valuable donations. In addition, the Lindbloms have future plans to continue to grow in the Lafayette, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia communities.
“We want to continue to grow, and continue to raise money,” says Lindblom. “But the most important thing we realized this year was that it’s not about the amount of money you raise, it’s about the number of lives you can affect. The people that we’ve met, and the people that have supported us, we can’t thank them enough.”
For more information or to find out how to become involved with the Josh Lindblom Foundation, you can visit their website at http://JoshLindblom.com.