ECU Baseball player raises thousands for families at Maynard Children’s Hospital

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – An ECU baseball player is using his platform to give back to families in need.

It all started in November when the East Carolina University baseball team visited the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.

”When I walked into this building, I wanted to make a difference,” said ECU baseball player Carter Cunningham.

Cunningham, a first baseman for the team, was inspired to start a foundation called Homers That Help.

“I say it’s my idea; it’s not my idea at all. It was really God working through me. It was just his calling, and I was grateful that he chose me to do it,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham uses it to give back to families from across the east at the children’s hospital. There are bi-weekly visits with patients at the hospital and an initial donation for each ECU home game. There’s also an additional donation for every home run hit. So far, Homers That Help has donated over $23,000.

“Every time the team comes, we’re able to give gift cards to the patients and families that are here,” said Child Life Specialist Tara Tadlock.

While the community has stepped up to the plate, “I’ve said this a lot, but I genuinely mean it. I’m not sure there’s a community out there that’s as generous as Greenville,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham doesn’t leave them to play ball alone; the senior also makes a donation for each home run he hits. Cunningham is turning to his teammates in hopes of continuing the positive impact on their community.

“I’ve been in this hospital before. I know how lonely it can get in here, and just coming in here every other week, just seeing the smiles on these people’s faces, every other week, I think it’s the main thing,” said Parker Byrd, another ECU Baseball Player.

Due to the overwhelming support, Cunningham had to start “Fund B,” which was donations from those who didn’t sponsor a game but still wanted to help out.

Parker Byrd is looking to take over the foundation when Cunningham leaves. He told WITN there are already a few new ideas on the horizon for next season.

You can donate online or text HOMERS to 51555.