Volunteering & Giving
January 9, 2015

Where football interceptions turn into cash — for kids!

The “Picks for Kids” program donates $1,000 to the Children’s of Alabama hospital every time a football player for Auburn University or the University of Alabama makes an interception.

“It’s part of who we are.”

“This is everything to us.”

What “this” refers to is college football — specifically, college football in the state of Alabama.

A Wells Fargo program called “Picks for Kids” is giving football fans of the University of Alabama and Auburn University even more to cheer about. The program donates $1,000 for every interception made by the teams to Children’s of Alabama, the state’s only free-standing children’s hospital.

The hospital, based in Birmingham, has received more than $80,000 in three years through the program.

Wendy Piazza with Jordan and Scarlotte Kilgore at the Children’s of Alabama Hearing and Speech Center.
Wendy Piazza (left) with Jordan and Scarlotte Kilgore at the Children’s of Alabama Hearing and Speech Center.

“Interceptions are wonderful, but with every interception comes an additional $1,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Alabama,” says play-by-play announcer Eli Gold of the Crimson Tide Sports Network. “And it’s just something you don’t always see from corporate America.”

Voice of the Tigers Rod Bramblett feels the same way. “At the end of the day, no matter what the score is, it is a win-win situation for not only the kids, but their families, and what a great way to give back and help these young people get better,” he says.

The money has gone to the hospital’s Hearing and Speech Center, which helps kids with mild to severe hearing loss with hearing aids, implants, and therapy. Says Wendy Piazza, supervisor of the center: “Year after year, we have just been so blessed with these funds and to be able to do things that just directly touch the patients. . . . The families are so grateful. It’s just been a blessing.”

One success story is 3-year-old Jordan, who was diagnosed with sensory-neural hearing loss when she was 2. After Jordan received a hearing aid and speech therapy, her mother, Scarlotte Kilgore, says, “Now that she can actually verbalize what she wants, the whole world has opened up to her.”