Prepare that box of tissues. INDYCAR drivers have been spending some of their spare time away from the race track to spread a little kindness in the world. During this Thanksgiving week, we are thankful for the ways these INDYCAR community members inspire us to pay it forward.
Josef Newgarden was invited to be a special sidekick to an important superhero. Tatin, a 6-year-old who is battling a congenital liver disorder, wished to become a superhero for a day to save Indianapolis from villains and pass out toys to children at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis. And through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tatin’s wish came true on Friday, Nov. 20.
“Turbo Tatin” started on his quest to defeat the toy thieves at the Indianapolis Colts’ offices and training facility, where he was alerted by Colts punter Pat McAfee that “Toymentor” was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with stolen toys.
Turbo Tatin then tagged up with Newgarden on a “high-speed” car chase around the famed Indianapolis 500 oval and off they went in a police escort to ultimately save Riley Children’s Hospital from the bad guys and deliver the toys to the children.
IMS Productions partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to capture Tatin’s wish here.
Being invited to the Miami Children’s Health Foundation Diamond Ball was an honor that Carlos Munoz doesn’t take lightly. After attending the fundraiser in October, he wanted to follow up by seeing the nearly $3 million in donations in action at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.
Munoz visited the hospital on Nov. 24 with his firesuit and helmet in hand and every patient he met wanted to try on his racecar driver costume. Some even threw on the firesuit over their clothes.
Although many hospital experiences aren’t thought of with positive memories, Munoz noted that the facilities were warm and inviting and he hoped he could bring that same sentiment to patients who are there during the holidays.
“It was nice to be part of something so special,” said Munoz. “Instead of a hospital, it felt much more like a home. I’m thankful that MCHF invited me to spend time with the patients.”
Gabby Chaves is also spending some time sharing thankfulness with community members. Chaves and his girlfriend, Gabby, have made plans to share “Blessings Bags” with members of the homeless community in downtown Indianapolis.
They will prepare Thanksgiving dinners to package with sweaters, socks and blankets for those in need and plan to hand deliver each Blessing Bag on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The Gabbys have also been taking donations of animal treats and toys for the Humane Society of Indianapolis.