The 60 players of the Cincinnati Galaxy, a select youth baseball team, came together at the end of this season to donate sports equipment, school supplies, toys, clothing and personal hygiene items to kids who are served by St. Al’s Orphanage.
“We want our organization to be about more than winning baseball games,” said James Vance, president of the Greater Cincinnati Baseball Club, Inc., which had five Cincinnati Galaxy teams playing in the 2013 season. “We understand how blessed we are as parents and coaches to work with happy, healthy kids every day. Not every child and every family has that opportunity. We wanted to do our small part to contribute to St. Al’s mission of transforming lives.”
The organization contacted St. Al’s and learned that the best way to support the agency with a collection or drive was to contribute items that can be purchased at the campus points store. The group offers kids positive reinforcement by giving points that can be redeemed for toys, personal hygiene items and other merchandise stocked at the store.
The teams collected items at their season finale games at the beginning of July. They compete in the Southwest Ohio League (SWOL), the premier select baseball organization in the Greater Cincinnati area. In 2014, the organization will have teams for players who are eligible to play 8U, 9U, 10U and 11U baseball (players who turn 11 before April 30, 2014).
Tryouts are currently underway for next year’s teams with open sessions scheduled for July 27, 28 and Aug. 3, 10 and 24 (2013).
“St. Al’s is such a great institution and they help thousands of kids every year. We were especially motivated to offer some sporting equipment – bats, gloves, helmets, soccer balls and basketballs – because we know firsthand how sports can give kids a positive outlet,” said Bill Geselbracht, vice president of the baseball club. “We hope they’ll have fun playing and just being kids.”
Vance said the parents also saw the value of getting the kids involved at a young age in a philanthropy project. They learned how to give and got to know more about St. Al’s Orphanage in the process.
“It’s so easy for kids to get wrapped up in themselves and not think about others. They can sometimes take for granted everything they have,” he said. “By making this a kid-driven collection – kids collecting items for other kids – we really encouraged them to think about what other kids might want to play with, might need and might want. And then asked them to do their best to collect or buy those things.”