As the year comes to a close, more people than ever seem to be more giving to those who are less fortunate. Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Alexander Rossi and Zach Veach are no different.
The Andretti Autosport teammates recently spent December days at the Wheeler Mission in downtown Indianapolis, working alongside other members of the race team and the organization’s staff serving hot meals to the less fortunate.
“It was such a pleasure to be able to serve at Wheeler Mission with a couple of my Andretti teammates,” said Rossi (shown left preparing food), the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and driver of the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda in 2018. “It brought a lot of joy to me to be able to help prepare, cook and serve food to women and children in need.”
Wheeler Mission, a non-denominational, Christian social services organization, helps the homeless in Indiana. Wheeler, which was one of the beneficiaries of Andretti Autosport’s turkey donation in November, provides critically needed goods and services to the homeless, poor and needy of central Indiana.
Veach, who will be a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018, jumped at the opportunity to join teammates in helping out. The longtime Indianapolis resident, who will race the No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda in the upcoming season, said helping those in need is “what this time of the year is all about.”
“Getting the opportunity to volunteer at Wheeler Mission was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, especially as we’re getting into the holiday season,” Veach said. “Wheeler Mission does an incredible job at helping those who are less fortunate get back on their feet. Playing a very small role by volunteering was very special for me. I strongly recommend others to do so in the future. I know I will definitely be back.”
The visits by Veach and Rossi were part of a month of charitable acts undertaken by Andretti Autosport, which included the turkey donation in conjunction with team partners Butterball, DHL and Kroger, the team's charity garage sale and team employees "adopting" a family for the holidays. More than helping those in need, the drivers got a better appreciation for the work the staff at the Wheeler Mission does on a daily basis to support the homeless in Central Indiana communities.
“I was blown away with the full-time staff and the love that is in their hearts, not only around Christmas time, but year-round,” Rossi said. “It was an inspiring thing to be a part of and I look forward to the next opportunity to do it again.”