PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Moved by scenes of devastation and despair in Haiti, the Pittsburgh community dug deep.
Last year, local philanthropists and hospitals sent planeloads of help and supplies. Uptown on the ice, Penguin forward Max Talbot searched for a way that he could he help.
“For me it’s always been important to give back,” he said.
For Talbot the opportunity came last summer when team chaplin Brad Henderson organized a trip to the EBAC Orphanage. It was there that Talbot, fellow Penguin Mike Rupp and former Pirate first baseman Sean Casey had their hearts stolen.
“The kids are why you go down there,” Talbot said. “It’s why you get involved with Haiti is for the kids.”
At EBAC, Talbot taught the kids how to play hockey on the dusty lots of the orphanage and became enlisted in a plan to build an entirely new orphanage down the street. Plans include a school and a medical clinic for these kids to whom he has grown so attached.
“The kids just come running and they grab your hand and hold you and it’s like, Oh my God these kids just want love and they want their share of affection,” said Talbot.
“When you’re exposed to that, you want to come back and do something about it and Max has definitely done something about it,” said Henderson.
In November, Talbot’s charitable foundation and Henderson’s Pittsburgh Kids Foundation held a fund raiser at Bossa Nova Downtown, raising more than $90,000. And in just a few weeks, the new orphanage will open its doors. It’s something Henderson says would not have happened without Talbot.
“Max has got a great heart. Max is a great athlete, but he’s even a better person and I’m proud to call him a friend,” he said.