Joey Logano Foundation: There's no bigger win than helping children

NASCAR driver's organization gives kids nationwide a second chance

A year ago, Autoblog and dozens of other web brands came together under one corporate umbrella, Oath. To mark that anniversary, thousands of Oath employees are taking the day off work Wednesday to perform community service — in communities across 17 countries. Here at Autoblog, we're working on projects that benefit our own communities in Michigan, Virginia, Washington state and Colorado.

It's a day we call The Great Build, Oath's Global Day of Service.

Meanwhile, we've recently been getting you acquainted with NASCAR driver Joey Logano, who even took us on a tour of his car collection. Joey got tapped as an Oath advisor to Autoblog. Like a lot of professional athletes, Joey is keen to give back to the community, and through his own success help others succeed. So today, to mark this day of service, we'd like to tell you a bit about the Joey Logano Foundation.

The JLF is all about helping kids — especially kids who may have been dealt a bad hand and who could use a second chance in life. Joey's interest in giving was kindled in 2011 when he pitched in to help the rebuilding effort in a place that desperately needed a second chance — Joplin, Mo., devastated by a massive EF5 tornado that killed 161 people, injured another 1,150 and destroyed 7,000 homes. He was further inspired to help make second chances happen after he got one himself, first losing his ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, then having his career saved by Team Penske.

So he established the Joey Logano Foundation in 2013 — when he was just 23. In its five years, the JLF has generated $2.4 million to invest in nonprofit organizations across the country that help children and young adults during difficult times in their lives. In 2017 alone, JLF distributed $930,788 that assisted 187,000 children and young adults. (Those numbers have grown from the ones cited in the video above.)

Just a few of the beneficiaries include the Nurse-Family Partnership, which supports first-time parents; the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation; the Children's Health Fund, which provides health care through mobile medical clinics; Final Salute, which lends assistance to homeless women military veterans; and the international humanitarian aid organization World Vision.

Joey offers this example in the video above: "You know, something that I think made us trend toward the kids part of our new mission is The Relatives, down here in Charlotte, N.C., a transitional home for kids who have really gone through a tough time — and they're just innocent bystanders, in all honesty."

Many of the home's clients have run away from abusive homes. "They don't know where to go or what to do, and we put ourselves in their shoes and said, 'I don't know how you can smile, I don't know how you can have a good time, I don't know how you can go to school and focus.' How are you going to grow up to be somebody? But The Relatives is a great avenue to try to help that."

In addition to the grant-making, one particularly sweet program the foundation runs is JL Kids Crew, which is something of a Make A Wish program for young NASCAR fans who face particularly tough challenges. These kids get to come out to a race, take a guided tour of the garages, meet some of the other NASCAR drivers, and attend the Team Penske drivers' and team meetings with Joey. And to cap it off, the little racing suits they get are pretty fantastic. We dare you not to get a lump in your throat watching little Jonah Williams thrust his hands in the air after putting his suit on in these videos.

"When you can see it in that person's face, how much this really affects their life, there's no better feeling than that," Joey says. "You know, I can talk about race wins as much as I want, and how great it is, but there's nothing better than that win, when you're able to affect someone. That's a bigger win than any racetrack you can go to."

The videos at the top and bottom of this post will tell you a lot more about the Joey Logano Foundation. And if you are interested in applying for a grant, or if you'd like to lend a hand through a direct donation or through the purchase of merchandise, details are at the foundation website. Maybe today can be your day of giving, too.

Follow along with @ Oath's #TheGreatBuild Day of Service across Twitter & Instagram. #ThisIsOath

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