SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) – When the kids arrived at the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club in the Mission District Thursday, they had a Panda to play with: San Francisco Giants star Pablo Sandoval.
“I love kids. They make me happy. I wanted to give something to the San Francisco community,” said Sandoval.
When Sandoval talks about giving back, he’s referring to this newly renovated room he helped finance at the Boys and Girls Club.
It is now named Pablo’s Place.
The renovated room has all new ping pong, foosball and bumper pool tables. And PlayStations.
“I want to do something for the kids where they’ll be safe, have fun and enjoy a safe place,” he said.
“To have Pablo here, the buzz the past 24 hours has been incredible,” said club director James Holley.
Almost 200 students from the mission come there to the clubhouse after school each day.
The director said having someone as successful as Sandoval not only helping out, but also coming here, will give the kids here something to shoot for.
“This is a huge Latino community. We have a lot of kids who look up to Pablo,” Holley said.
“This room got decorated by someone who inspires us,” said 11-year-old Denise Mukul.
The Panda says he understands that. He didn’t start with a lot of advantages either.
“I know the dreams. You make your dreams come true is the most important thing,” Sandoval said.