Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Cup champion, is a busy man this weekend in New Hampshire. Not only will Gordon tackle the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but he is also tackling his philanthropic destiny, both locally and globally.
[media-credit id=62 align=”alignright” width=”235″][/media-credit]Prior to the start of the race weekend, Gordon visited the New Hampshire Food Bank as part of his Drive to End Hunger campaign with the AARP Foundation. He presented a $10,000 check to the Food Bank and toured their distribution facility.
“Getting to work with the AARP Foundation through Drive to End Hunger has been really inspiring,” Gordon said. “To not only help nationally but to go into these communities and make an impact on those that are suffering from hunger is great.”
“This was my first time this year visiting one of the food banks that actually is collecting the food, sorting the food, and distributing the food,” Gordon continued. “They really impressed me in how organized they were and how efficient they are with the food that is either donated or purchased through the funds that are donated.”
“They’re cooking hot meals that are being distributed out to the Boys and Girls Clubs and different organizations,” Gordon said. “It was great to see the dollars that are being donated by fans and companies, being brought together by AARP and the Drive to End Hunger program, and to see it at work.”
Gordon’s visit to the New Hampshire Food Bank not only had a tremendous impact on the fans who attended to see him and donate food, but it also made the world of difference to the work of the Food Bank.
“This was a huge opportunity for us to partner with AARP and Jeff Gordon,” Melanie Gosselin, Food Bank Executive Director, said. “Often we don’t get celebrities here in New Hampshire so we’re tremendously thrilled that Jeff and his team are behind the fight against hunger nationally and locally as well.”
“We’re serving one in ten in the State and one in seven are senior citizens,” Gosselin said of the work of the Food Bank. “So we can turn that $10,000 donation that was made into 70,000 meals. It’s a huge boost to us.”
In addition to his philanthropy boosting the Food Bank, Jeff Gordon is looking forward to a great race weekend at New Hampshire. He is currently seventh in points with two wins for the season at the halfway point to the Chase.
“Even though we are half way through the season, we have only a handful of races left before the Chase and the real championship begins,” Gordon said. “We’re pretty pleased with our season to this point and certainly happy about the two wins.”
“I feel like we’ve been fortunate the last few weeks to get some pretty good finishes to move ourselves up in the points,” Gordon continued. “But I feel like we need to perform a little better than that if we’re really going to not only advance in but also be a real threat for the championship.”
“So, I think this is a crucial weekend for us and one that I feel confident in,” Gordon said. “At this point you just have to keep taking it one at a time and see and hopefully improve each week.”
Almost immediately after the race, Gordon will turn his attention to his newest philanthropic work, one that will take him around the world to the Congo.
“I leave Sunday night after the race,” Gordon said. “I became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, what they call the lead group, which is a smaller, younger group of philanthropists in all different areas. It’s a very ambitious group and prestigious group to be a part of, led by former President Clinton.”
“We decided our initiative together was a refugee camp in the Congo,” Gordon continued. “They want to go to the harshest environment to make the biggest impact.”
“We decided we needed to go and visit the refugee camp as we couldn’t talk about it and make a difference if we had never seen it,” Gordon said. “So, we’ve been planning this trip.”
“I leave Sunday, get there Tuesday and come back on Thursday,” Gordon continued. “So, it’s a quick trip but there’s a lot packed into a short time.”
“My expectations are to see some jaw-dropping, eye-opening experiences that are going to change my life forever,” Gordon said. “And hopefully we can do some very good things to try to change that in the future.”