Here are some profiles of our Dominican partners!
Ramon Garcia, coach from San Cristobal: "Baseball is life for the children here in my country. Every day I come to the field and encourage them to do their best and work hard. However, sometimes it gets really challenging to continue to operate. As a volunteer league, every three months I am forced to run a collection where I ask the ballplayers’ families to donate fifty to a hundred pesos (this is only about 1-2 dollars). Unfortunately, only about a quarter of parents can afford it, so usually we only end up with some balls, a few gloves, and a bat. We are so fortunate to have help from Homerun Hopefuls. It makes a tremendous difference to get a year's worth of equipment when the foundation comes to my league. To further the initiative, I make sure all my players are keeping up their grades. I come to their school during the week to run a practice, and, instead of just talking about baseball, we talk about school too. Before this, the kids would only focus on baseball. The problem is that if they don’t become professional players, they are left without an education to help them succeed the rest of their life. I stress this aspect of their life so that if everything doesn’t go their way on the field, they still have a backup plan and have the ability to get an education. I look forward to working with the foundation in years to come!"
Pedro Toledo, player from San Cristobal: "When Homerun Hopefuls visited our league last year, I remember the volunteers getting off the bus and right away, the volunteers and some of my friends started tossing the ball around together. We made a real connection because we all love the game so much. Homerun Hopefuls has been able to make a big impact on my life because it taught me to further value my education – something no one can ever take away from me. If baseball does not work out in the long run, I can still have a valuable profession outside of sports. I hope to go to college to learn more and get more opportunities to succeed in the future."