COED BASEBALL BATTLES CANCER
Each fall players from the DC Metro area and beyond gather for the annual Coed Baseball Battles Cancer Game, our hallmark event. Players come together for a day of baseball and FUNdraising - bringing awareness and funds to the fight against cancer - all while celebrating fighters, survivors and those we've lost. In addition to individual donations, a Silent Auction and raffle have helped to raise thousands of dollars or cancer-related charities including Inova's Life With Cancer Program; Capital Breast Care Center; and Zero: The End of Prostate Cancer
BAGS OF HOPE/BOOK BONANZA
Bags of Hope was one of our first Give 10 for 10 projects. Following Hurricane Sandy, we began gathering various bags of supplies, clothing, toiletries, etc and delivering them to those in need in the greater NY/NJ area. In preparing for our trip we sought out organizations who we felt would help us assure the items we were delivering would go directly into the hands of those most in need. We ended up working with HOPES CAP (Community Action Program). HOPES provides assistance to low income families, focusing services on youth, adults and the elderly with a special emphasis on education. Our initial contact was with a HOPES group in Hoboken, but they asked if we would deliver our resources to a community with much greater needs, Plainfield.
Unlike Hoboken which suffered storm surge and water damage, Plainfield is an inland community. The residents there were without power for about 12 days, leaving many residents out of work during that time. For the families who were receiving services with HOPES, the loss of 12 days pay was devastating. Most of these families live check to check and often day to day; they did not have any resources to draw on for food or family members to take them in and provide them a warm place to stay. More importantly, from a long term perspective, this was a community that relied very heavily on outside donations of things like clothing and on financial assistance in order to make ends meet. With so much of the nation's community resources being diverted to Storm victims, places like Plainfield were suffering even more than usual.
We had an incredible experience with the families in Plainfield, delivering a truck full of clothing and food and supplies. We saw women and children come into the distribution center with a sweatshirt or thin jacket despite the temperature barely reaching the freezing mark and happily leaving with a warm winter coat and hat. The day, we thought, was pretty incredible and the teachers from the HOPES Head Start Program were amazing--they knew each of their students and their families, helping them find what they needed most.
Book Bonanza grew out of that project. HOPES hey told us how they served 270 families of kids between the ages of 3-5, providing them with a Head Start program. They were particularly happy to see some of the children picking out donated books - reminding us that this was a luxury that many of the children did not have.
The school went on to explain they had set a goal of trying to gather enough books to eventually try to give each child one book they could take home and keep - it was then that we realized we wanted to try to give each family a library.
Thanks to the generosity of dozens and dozens of volunteers, we were able to work towards that goal. We delivered hundreds of new and gently used children's books to the families of HOPES. We were also able to find a builder to donate small bookshelves for each child to decorate and take home. We spent a wonderful day reading to children; helping them decorate their own bookshelves; and watching them excitedly pick out their very own books to take home
COMING HOME FOR FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION
In baseball, there is no better feeling than coming home - crossing the plate and being cheered on by our friends and family. We wanted to share that feeling with the families of Fisher House Foundation by supporting their efforts to be by their loved ones' side in their times of greatest need. Fisher House Foundation has more than 84 comfort homes across the country where service members and veterans' families can stay for free while a loved one is in the hospital. They also run the Hero Miles and Hotel for Heroes programs helping to provide transportation and additional lodging for these families. (For more information visit www.fisherhouse.org)
Give 10 for 10 encouraged the Eastern Women's Baseball Conference, the DC Thunder Women's Baseball Team, and our friends within the extended baseball community to solicit pledges for every run scored during the course of their season. Despite some of those pledges being as little as $1/run - by the end of the season - we were able to donate hundreds of dollars to this amazing organization. (For more information on how you can support Fisher House Foundation, visit www.fisherhouse.org)