Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ben and Heather Crane's Charitable Hearts

The PGA Tour has a Charitable heart.  This fact has been well documented.  The Tour surpassed $2 billion in charitable giving this year at Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.  Yes, $2 billion with a "B" not an "M".  This attention and commitment to giving back is one of the most appealing aspects of the PGA Tour.  It says the Tour truly has a heart.

Let's take a look at one golfer and his wife in relation to the commitment they have to charities.  Ben and Heather Crane support several charities.  They chose 2 charities in 2005 for their charity golf tournament to benefit.  Ben and Heather have stuck with those two ever since.  It has been an incredible experience.  This year they surpassed $2.5 million mark at their event in January.

Hope Farm is one of the two.  Hope Farm is an after school program in Ft. Worth.  They have taken back the community, renovating a prior crack house and turning it into a safe place for boys who have no fathers.

Last year Hope Farm celebrated the opening of their new community center.  The center is equipped with a commercial kitchen and sports court.  Much of the money for this project came from the Ben and Heather Crane Charities.

Hope Farm was started by a former police officer, Gary Randle.  Gary realized he was never going to help the cycle of a criminal unless he could reach boys while they were still young.  The boys in the program go to Hope Farm after school where they are loved as they complete their homework, play sports, music, and have dinner.

The other organization is Love 146  Love 146 is dedicated to ending child sexual exploitation.  Heather traveled to Cambodia for the first time in 2005.  She has served on Love 146's board for 8 years.  This organization has a wide range of involvement in various advocacy, prevention, and after care efforts in both SE Asia and the United States.  They have a safe house in Manila and a drop in center/soup kitchen for homeless kids in Manila.  Love 146 is also working hard at implementing a prevention education curriculum in schools across the U.S.

The headquarters for Love 146 is in New Haven, Connecticut and they recently open an office in Houston.  In the past 6 months they have reached 2,300 youth in Texas, Connecticut, and Maryland.  This has led to 76 disclosures of human trafficking/sexual abuse.  The presence of abuse children is staggering!  The challenge is to provide appropriate after care/therapy for those students who are identified as being in dangerous situations.

Two of Ben's sponsors on tour are Zurich and Farmers Insurance.  He and Heather have grateful hearts to Zurich and Farmers for their involvement in these causes.  These two companies are also very active with the PGA Tour and their Charities.  They also sponsor two tournaments on the PGA Tour: The Farmers Insurance Open at La Jolla, which Ben won in 2010 and the Zurich Classic at New Orleans which comes up in a few weeks.

It is easy for me to get excited every day when I know I represent people like Ben and Heather Crane who give so much back to the world.  I feel the same way about the charitable aspects of the PGA Tour.  A good comparison is the NFL which has awarded $370 million to charities in the past 40 years.  This is good.  Yet, the PGA Tour is now over $2 billion.

Thank you, Lord, for people who see needs beyond themselves and treat others the way we would all want to be treated.  Thank you Ben and Heather!