For many NASCAR fans, a tough economy meant choosing between attending races and watching from home, or not buying their favorite driver's gear at the track so they could come to the races.
That being said, it did not stop race fans from opening up their wallets or giving time to volunteer at a NASCAR foundation event throughout 2009.
Because of the 10,000 people who volunteered through the NASCAR Volunteer Network, the NASCAR Foundation raised over $1.8 million.
This money goes to help families in need all around the country.
From pediatrics to animal rights, fans stepped up and stepped out to help out numerous organizations who are struggling.
The NASCAR Volunteer program which has volunteers participating in service projects in communities around the country. From blood drives, to phones drives that raise money for breast cancer awareness, pediatric hospitals, funds to send deserving kids to Victory Junction Camp.
From track walks to auctions, the NASCAR family, tracks and fans did their part in 2009.
What sets NASCAR apart from many sports and athletes, is that at every race drivers are giving back in some way through events like meet and greets, with the money going to their foundations.
It was not just fans who were volunteering, but many drivers and organizations did their part as well.There were events that raised money to find a cure for pediatric diseases to cancer, which has affected everyone.
Many charitable organizations within NASCAR celebrated major milestones in 2009. The Jeff Gordon foundation which celebrated 10 years of giving.
Together with the NASCAR foundation and Victory Junction Camp, over $1.5 million has been raised and more importantly, over 500 children have had the opportunity to go to VJC and just be a kid for a while. Numerous drivers have donated money to sponsor cabins and activities at the camp.
2009 was a tough year for everybody economically. NASCAR is a sport that is reliant on sponsorship from the same companies who struggled to pay their employees.
The Foundation Chairperson Betty France acknowledged just how important the fans were in making 2009 a success.
“Thanks to the loyal fans of our sport, The NASCAR Foundation continues to fulfill—and exceed—our original vision for the organization. To be able to engage so many fans and to provide such a large amount in contributions is both exciting and gratifying. The Foundation is doing important work…meaningful work. We are extremely grateful for the fans’ support which makes that work possible.”
If you would like to give to the NASCAR foundation or join in the fun and volunteer, please visit www.NASCAR.COM/foundation .
To check out what your favorite driver’s passions are away from the track, check out their websites on how you can help them in their charitable work.