Mookie Betts’ hugely successful baseball career as a two-time World Series champion and Los Angeles Dodger all-star is well documented. More recently, he aimed that dedication and drive toward helping the families of children who are hospitalized.
Betts, his wife Brianna, and members of the 50/50 Foundation visited UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital in September to see patients and to announce a donation. It will be the first of several donations earmarked by the foundation for Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Mookie and Brianna Betts launched the 50/50 Foundation in February of 2023, raising funds with the inaugural “Mookie Betts and Friends Bowling Tournament.” Through the foundation, they created the Betts On Us fund, the purpose of which is to help families of pediatric patients in need of financial assistance gain access to adequate health care support, Mookie Betts said.
“Our main goal is to be a supporting cast to children in need,” Betts said. “While we are adding new programs to our year-round activations, we will be reactive to different needs within the community as they arise.”
Betts said his motivation to donate an undisclosed amount to Mattel Children’s Hospital stems from an already existing partnership between UCLA Health and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“The UCLA-Dodgers partnership shined a light on what UCLA is doing and allowed my wife and I to have a front-row seat,” Betts said. “After meeting the staff, we felt like it would be an amazing partnership that aligns with our goals of giving blessings to children no matter the circumstances.”
Betts On Us funds will provide assistance to families through the Chase Child Life Program, working with the care coordination and social work teams. Areas of support could include durable medical equipment, lodging, food, gas and other family needs.
“We are so grateful for the support of Mookie and Brianna Betts,” said Johnese Spisso, president, UCLA Health and CEO, UCLA Hospital System. “Their contribution to benefit our pediatric patients and their families builds on the already strong relationship UCLA Health has with the Dodgers to help our community.”
Sherin Devaskar, MD, executive chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, echoed that appreciation.
"UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital treats some of the sickest children and we rely heavily on donations and partnerships such as this to support patient programs that meet the multitude of needs of these young patients and their families,” Dr. Devaskar said. “Many of our patients come to us from highly marginalized populations."
Betts said he is counting on the foundation’s partnership with UCLA Health to be a catalyst to help pediatric patients overcome their illnesses and fulfill their dreams.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to be successful. Most importantly, we want to be a symbol of hope to those less fortunate, and remind others that no dream is too big,” Betts said.
Betts went on to say that he and his team know that it “takes a village” to help children, and wanted to provide a space where they could give back to the next generation of leaders.
“Baseball has been a gateway to many blessings in my life,” he said. “We want to share those blessings with others by truly being a fan of each child’s ultimate dream and helping them reach their goal however we can.”