Giving Back

ESPN volunteers build home for a U.S. veteran in Connecticut

Kevin Negandhi assists with KaBOOM! build

In San Antonio over the weekend, SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi, along with ESPN and local volunteers, built a KaBoom! playground in the military community of Thunderbird Hills. More than 1,000 children – mostly from military families – now have access to a healthy and safe space to play in their community.

Every year, ESPN employees honor U.S. military families and veterans as part of a multiplatform “America’s Heroes” initiative. An important component of this annual effort is giving back to organizations and programs that provide critical assistance to veterans and active military.

In July, ESPN announced a $25,000 grant to the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity to build a three-bedroom home for a U.S. veteran in Bristol, Conn., just a mile from ESPN’s campus. Since then, scores of employees – including dozens who are U.S. veterans – have volunteered nearly 1,000 hours on the home, which has been awarded to Sergeant Taurean Gaston and his family. Gaston served multiple tours in Afghanistan with the Army Reserves.

In the video above, Front Row spent a day with the Team ESPN volunteers and Sergeant Gaston to learn more about the build. The home is expected to be completed in time for the holidays.

ESPN has also made $25,000 donations to both the USO and the Fisher House Foundation to honor the Veterans Day holiday. The Fisher House provides a place for military family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization. One of its locations is at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, home of today’s on-site SportsCenter coverage.

Jennifer Paulett contributed to this story
Video produced by Josh Lander

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