Gloves for All

by Pitch In For Baseball
Vetted
Leonardo, Dominican Republic
Leonardo, Dominican Republic

In 2015, PIFB completed 205 projects, helping nearly 50,000 kids get on the field in 32 different states and 27 countries.  Gloves continue to be the single highest demand item.  In 2015, PIFB donated nearly 7,000 gloves. This year to date, we have already donated about 10,000 gloves.  It's hard to imagine what it means to these kids to hold their first glove.  We are touched by the stories - one child in Puerto Rico loved his glove so much that he slept with it under his pillow each night.  For other kids, having a glove means they can be part of a team and play ball, which creates opportunities for education.  And for others, playing baseball and softball have just given them hope.  Below are some stories of kids who received gloves through Gloves for All:

1. Leonardo – Dominican Republic

Orphaned at 13 after losing both parents, Leonardo, his brother and two sisters struggled to survive. Leonardo often wandered the streets alone. He had severe anemia from extreme malnutrition. While recovering, Leonardo would watch the kids playing ball. PIFB gave Leonardo the proper gear to play baseball and he has flourished. He is a team leader and wants to learn as much as he can about the art of pitching. Now he spends his time playing catch with friends instead of getting into trouble.

2. Wilfredo and Eddy – Honduras

Nine-year-old twins, Wilfredo and Eddy have had their fair share of heartache. Shortly after moving to Ecuador with their dad, he was diagnosed with cancer and returned to the U.S. for treatment. The boys went back to Honduras. A year later, the boys returned to Ecuador with their dad. Tragically, his health declined and he passed away two months later. The boys were devastated. They lost interest in soccer (a game they played with their dad) and stuck to each other. Desperate, their mom signed them up for baseball. Baseball has revived them.

3. Ronaee – Philadelphia

At the beginning of the school year, Ronaee, was on the road to dropping out. Her job was her priority. When a group of friends decided to try out for softball, she tagged along. She was told  if she wanted to play, she had to get her grades up. Ronaee worked tirelessly to her grades up to be academically eligible and attended school daily. By the end of the season, she improved her GPA by 11 points and went from nearly failing to being an engaged student. Instead of dropping out, she’s succeeding academically and looking forward to next season.

4. Sioux Community – Rosebud, SD

Each year, the Arizona Diamondbacks host an Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball and Softball tournaments for Native American kids ages 9-18. The Rosebud Boys & Girls Club out of the Sioux Community in South Dakota raised funds to send 15 kids, but had limited equipment and no uniforms. PIFB provided the team with gloves, uniform pants, cleats, and other needed equipment. Many of the boys had never been on a plane or even left their communities.

Wilfredo & Eddy, Honduras
Wilfredo & Eddy, Honduras
Ronaee, Philadelphia
Ronaee, Philadelphia
Rosebud Boys & Girls Club
Rosebud Boys & Girls Club

Links:

Kids helping to prepare the "field" for play
Kids helping to prepare the "field" for play

For many children in the Philippines, baseball is something new and interesting. Although the act of throwing a ball and running around a field may be a natural playground activity for many children, most kids in the Philippines grow up playing basketball.  The kids who have had the chance to play baseball love the game, and take advantage of every opportunity to play, typically on make-shift fields - any little spot of an open field, mostly dirt, sometimes with overgrown grass that the kids have to clear themselves.

Baseball is not as widespread in the Philippines because of the equipment. It is not uncommon to see opposing teams share gloves, in many cases, the teams will make do with their own improvised equipment (see photographs).  Kids pla oversized gloves being used by kids, baseball gloves made out of flip flops nailed onto a flat cardboard boxes, rolled up socks for softballs, baseball covered with electric tape, and cut broomsticks for bats. That’s how baseball is played in the Philippines.

Kids will rarely have a bat or glove, let alone a helmet or even shoes! This is why the contribution of Pitch in For Baseball matters a lot. It does allows the children to have their own equipment and for some their first ever pair of shoes or a baseball uniform that they can call their own. More than the equipment they receive, the kids in the Philippines are receiving a chance to play a game. One that will bring many happy memories of hot afternoons, dusty fields, great plays and a lot of fun. 

In early 2015, Pitch In For Baseball sent 11 pallets of equipment, valued at more than $75,000 to the Philippines. Contributions to our Gloves for All program helped to provide 100 gloves for Filipino children. Your support helped enable Pitch In For Baseball to provide many kids who are playing with ragtag equipment with the chance to play with good equipment in order to elevate their game and encourage their friends to join the leagues.

Kids with a basket of "baseballs" (stuffed socks)
Kids with a basket of "baseballs" (stuffed socks)
"Flip Flop Glove"
"Flip Flop Glove"
Another homemade baseball
Another homemade baseball

Thank you for supporting our Gloves for All project.  Since our last report, our project has raised enough funds to provide 15 gloves to kids in the West Portland Little League (WPLL) in Jamaica.  West Portland Little League was started in 2006 by a gentleman who lives in Massachussetts but travels to Jamaica frequently, which helps to keep costs low.  Due to lack of resources, WPLL has trouble raising money and replacing equipment, which has resulted in a decline in participation numbers.  With 100 kids in the league, WPLL wants to increase the number of kids playing ball and Pitch In For Baseball is a key partner to achieving that goal. 

In 2014 to date, Pitch In For Baseball has sent more than 2,700 gloves to 140 partners all over the globe.  We've also worked hard to gather reporting and anecdotes to share with our donors.  Below are a few examples of the impact we are making around the globe:

Like many of the international programs PIFB helps, the equipment in Kenya is scarce, but the interest in the sport is growing. Over the past three years, Pitch In For Baseball has been helping the program Baseball4Africa, which works with secondary schools in Kenya to teach kids about the game. Founder of Baseball4Africa, Jim Tamarack has been taking trips to Kenya for the past ten years. Many of the kids who play are orphans and baseball has been an outlet for them. Through baseball, these children are excited for school and look forward to when Jim coaches them.

In Philadelphia, school district budget deficits have resulted in the elimination of non-academic yet vital youth development programs including baseball.  This year, PIFB supported 41 schools/63 baseball and softball programs. The demand for our programming in Philadelphia is a direct result of the district’s severe budget deficit. Schools need partners like PIFB to help stretch their dollars. For 7th graders Jahad, Destin, and Jimmy in one of our partner schools, baseball gave them a chance to be part of a team for the first time, to have camaraderie, something to look forward to, and as a result, their attendance and engagement levels in school also increased. Arman’s story is a similar – new to baseball, he excelled, emerging as one of the team’s leaders and ending the season with the second highest batting average on the team. For Jeneyska, her introduction to softball was life-changing, helping her to discover something she really loves and even motivating her and her family to find a school with a more competitive team. Baseball helped get Aaron back on track, helping to improve attendance, reduce behavioral issues, and even brought his recently divorced parents together at games, bonding in their support for him. And for Tony, baseball gave him a team, friends, and supports to help him heal from the loss of his father earlier in the year.

With your support, Pitch In For Baseball was able to provide 45 gloves to kids in ...

Since we launched our Gloves for All project on the Global Giving site, we have completed 50 projects, including 13 international benefitting nearly 8,000 children.  Within those projects, we gave away a total of nearly 2,000 gloves.

One project of particular note was in partnership with the Cambodia Baseball Federation.  Baseball in Cambodia is just beginning really and there is an absence of government support, a lack of funding to support the growth of youth baseball, and equipment is not available for purchase.  Together, we were able to provide enough equipment to start and/or expand seven baseball programs for children ages 10-15 in 6 Cambodian schools. 

The Cambodia Baseball Federation conducts outreach to children and families in rural communities to offer a fun, recreational opportunity while promoting healthy lifestyles.  In their first year of outreach, more than 100 children signed up and the Cambodia Baseball Federation was unable to meet the demand/interest.  Interest in baseball continues to grow with kids ages 10-15 and schools to add to their curriculum.  Pitch In For Baseball was able to provide the equipment and enough gloves to fully support 7 teams.

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Organization Information

Pitch In For Baseball

Location: Harleysville, Pa - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.pifb.org
Project Leader:
Meredith Kim
Chief Operating Officer
Harleysville, Pa United States

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