As a four-time Sprint Cup champion and one of the most recognized and popular drivers in NASCAR, Jeff Gordon admits he “gets to do a lot of really cool things.”
On Thursday, Gordon was able to do another “really cool thing,” but it was also extremely meaningful in the process, delivering the one millionth meal served by one of Gordon’s key sponsors, the Drive To End Hunger.
On his way to Martinsville Speedway, Gordon stopped by the house of 89-year-old Freida Evans, who lives not far from the speedway in Stoneville, North Carolina.
It’s a toss-up who was more happy about the visit: Gordon or Evans.
“It’s opened my eyes so much to this cause and how many millions of people are dealing with hunger issues in America,” Gordon said during Friday’s weekly media availability at Martinsville. “Yesterday was definitely one of the highlights.
“A woman named Freida (Evans) … relies on Meals on Wheels to deliver her meals every day. She’s the classic story of individuals who need those meals desperately because she worked so hard to feed her family throughout her whole life and gave everything for them.
“And now, she relies on those meals. And it was pretty cool to be able to deliver that one-millionth meal for Meals on Wheels to her in the state of North Carolina.”
Gordon didn’t just drop off the meal. He spent a significant amount of time talking and visiting with Evans, who confided she watched him race on TV this past Sunday at Talladega.
“(It) was very special,” Gordon said. “I spent some time with her in her home with her family and she is such a sweet lady.
“When you live this close to Martinsville, they said that at times they can actually hear the cars going around the track. Her husband, who had passed away, was a big NASCAR fan and a lot of her family members are big NASCAR fans.
“She is a big Richard Petty fan; even brought up Lee Petty’s name. So that was very special to be able to do that and to help somebody like that.”
Gordon explained that Drive To End Hunger isn’t just a sponsor, it’s a cause he supports and believes in.
“It’s not just fund-raising, it’s getting the word out there for more people to understand how serious this issue is,” he said. “And we need more volunteers. We need more people to be aware of it to really get involved and make an impact.
“It starts in local communities and it spreads throughout the country and every little bit helps. I think, obviously Freida and her story and how important that meal was to her is the greatest way to spread that word.”
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