The Southern California community was shaken up last week with news of a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. While citizens were just beginning to mourn the lives lost, multiple wildfires around the area broke out and caused evacuations.
The Woolsey Fire and others burned tens of thousands of acres, claiming several houses and claiming lives. As firefighters worked to contain the fires, efforts were underway to provide for those who were displaced and/or lost their home.
That included Justin Turner, who along with his wife Kourtney and The Dream Center, delivered hygiene products and boxes of shoes to a shelter that had just opened at Canoga Park High School.
Turner’s first stop was to Pierce Community College, where he was informed of a greater need. “They actually said that they had enough items, they didn’t need any of our items,” Turner said from Dodger Stadium, where he helped host batting practice for active duty military members and veterans.
“What they needed was Lysol and stuff to clean the cots and plates and plasticware for everyone to eat. We dropped off all of our supplies (at Canoga Park High School) and then went back to Target and picked up the cleaning stuff and the plates and went back to Pierce. But obviously, that’s not a whole lot but we tried to help and donate.
“They’re still battling up there and if we could get up to the firefighters and help them out with whatever they need, that would be awesome. But that’s impossible to even get to them right now.”
Both on behalf of the Los Angeles Dodgers and through his Justin Turner Foundation, the 33-year-old regularly is involved with community service efforts. Turner hosts an annual golf classic to benefit The Dream Center and makes appearances at local hospitals during the holidays, among other initiatives.
“I consider myself extremely lucky to be here, be where I’m at,” he said. “To have this platform, to understand the platform that we’re given, not just myself but everyone. If you play in the Major Leagues, you’re seen all the time through social media, on the field, on TV, I think it’s a duty to find a way to get involved somehow.
“It doesn’t have to be with fire relief or disaster relief or homeless veterans but just finding your little niche to get out in the community and find a way to have an impact on someone else who is less fortunate than we are to be playing Major League Baseball.”