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
Rosebud Boys & Girls Club