Tanner Houck started his Pitch for Adoption charity during his first full minor league baseball season in 2018. Now, he’s collaborating with his sister, Reanna Compton, for a fundraiser that is personal to both of them.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher’s family adopted Compton when she was 4 years old and Tanner revealed during an Instagram Live her story impacted him because it made him realize “how good I actually had it growing up.”
Houck always has been vocal about his support for adoption, and now he and his sister have created an NFT to raise more funds for charities that mean a lot to them.
There are many athletes who have gotten involved in the world of NFT and Houck and Compton have teamed up with Etched, which is the first charity-focused NFT platform.
“It was really important for me to align myself with adoption awareness from the start of my career, that’s why I started donating money for each strikeout throughout my time in the minor leagues,” Houck told NESN.com. “I planned for it to build each year and (I’m) excited to jump into the new wave of NFTs. I don’t think I ever imagined raising money in this format of digital artwork, but I’m excited to adjust to the new emerging technology. I decided to go through this route after learning about Etched and how their platform creates mission-driven NFTs as opposed to the tons of other NFTs on the market.
“… I’m happy that NFTs can provide a new method of fundraising with the utility of building a community to see where the funds are spent.”
Compton, an aspiring illustrator, designed the artwork and they will be sold as a collection of NFTs with the proceeds going to The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston and Caritas Family Solutions in Houck’s home state of Illinois. Houck called it the “easiest decision” to have Compton create the artwork because without adoption, they would not have the bond they do.
“Reanna was the inspiration behind all of my fundraising efforts,” Houck said. “It has been so amazing to work on this as a family and to see her efforts go to helping children in need of a family. It was the easiest decision. She’s such a talented artist so showing off her work is something I’m really proud of.”
The NFTs will launch Tuesday, Nov. 30, which just so happens to be Giving Tuesday. November also is Adoption Awareness Month, so Houck is hopeful this will help others see just how beneficial adoption is.
“To cap off November, Adoption Awareness Month, I’m hoping that people can be more aware of the benefits of adoption and the needs of those in foster care,” Houck said. “In raising money to help these children, I hope to provide resources to make their day-to-day lives more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Houck also wants others to know the importance of what the message of these NFTs mean, and hopes it becomes a year-round message, not just one during the holidays.
“The whole message of this NFT is to hold each other up, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind throughout the entire year, not just in the holiday season or on Giving Tuesday,” he said.
Adoption has helped Houck see the importance of helping those in need, and has seen first-hand just how much it can impact someone’s life. In turn, his family adopting Compton also has changed his life and inspired him on a daily basis after he said he felt his family was complete with the addition of his sister.
“I’m inspired by Reanna’s fearlessness to be herself. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be to join a new family, and Reanna wasn’t scared to let us into her heart,” Houck said. “From the day she came into our lives she has continually shown us the importance of being authentic and true to oneself.”
Houck has donated money for every strikeout to St. John Bosco Children’s Center, a safe haven that provides 24/7 residential care for children aged 6 to 18 “who’ve experienced severe trauma.” For the pitcher, though, he’s hopeful more people will find “a cause they’re passionate about” so they can help their local communities like he has over the years.
“I hope that people will learn that there’s so many ways to help your local community,” Houck said. “A small donation goes a long way in impacting a child’s life and making their day. Just like how I started out donating small amounts per strikeout and built to doing an NFT with Etched, I hope more people can find a cause they’re passionate about and help their local community.”
The NFT will drop at 5 p.m. ET. and if someone decides to own three or more, they can elect to receive a free print of the artwork that will be signed by both Houck and Compton.
You can learn more about Compton and Houck’s NFT collection here.