Sandbridge native Ryan Zimmerman creates Pros for Heroes charity relief fund

Ryan and Heather Zimmerman were a couple of weeks into their unexpected spring together at home with nowhere to go when they started wondering what they could do to help their community through the coronavirus pandemic.

They immediately thought of the doctors, nurses and other health care workers who were being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, didn’t have enough personal protective equipment and didn’t have enough time to take care of themselves and their families while simultaneously taking care of patients.

So the Zimmermans reached out to a neighborhood friend who happened to be a doctor at INOVA Fairfax Hospital and asked what was needed. And then they got in touch with another friend who owns SuperFd, a local catering business that prepares healthy meals for athletes, and arranged for 150 meals a day to be sent to staff at the hospital’s intensive care unit over Easter weekend.

That small act of kindness ultimately prompted the Zimmermans (with help from other D.C.-area athletes, plus the agency that represents him, CAA) to create Pros For Heroes, a fast-tracked charity organization designed to ensure that health care professionals have the tools they need to stay safe, including supplies, reliable equipment and healthy meals for themselves and their families.

Zimmerman-NLCS-Celebrion-Sidebar.jpgPros For Heroes officially debuted to the public six days ago, hours before Ryan Zimmerman co-hosted the Zoom chat that saw Nationals teammates and coaches re-watch Game 7 of the World Series and became a sudden phenomenon. They hoped the Zoom session would help spread the word about the charity, and help them reach a goal of $250,000 raised.

How big was the response? Within a day, they had to double the goal. And now, with nearly $310,000 donated, Ryan Zimmerman is starting to think about getting in touch with athletes from other teams in other cities to help them set up similar charitable organizations to assist their own communities.

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