Athletes Brand partnered with Arizona-based relief organization Food for the Hungry on a t-shirt project that aims to end poverty in El Mirador, Dominican Republic, an area with widespread poverty. Players from across professional baseball came together to raise money and awareness during two-week campaigns. During that time, limited-edition t-shirts specific to their team’s color scheme were available.
Nearly $8,000 was raised throughout the campaign, and half of the league had player representatives for their team's version of the shirt. While the hope was to outfit a player from each team in the shirt, it was a great success considering that Striking Out Poverty was a “first-of-its-kind” campaign.
Pictured (L to R): Roberto Clemente, Jr., Starling Marte (PIT), Rob Refsnyder (TOR), Gregory Polanco (PIT) & Moises Sierra
In January, a Striking Out Poverty conglomerate went to the Dominican Republic to better familiarize themselves with the project. The trip afforded attendees the opportunity to meet with community leaders, see completed projects, visit with families and learn more about the needs ahead. A strong emphasis was placed on interacting with community members and seeing, hearing and experiencing the challenges that are faced every day.
Trip attendees included several professional baseball players, baseball ambassador Roberto Clemente, Jr., TV host Adam Richman, and officials from both Food for the Hungry and Athletes Brand. The trip culminated in a game of baseball being with the children of the community – on a field where they had just helped complete the construction of a baseball backstop. Players in attendance believe that the Striking Out Poverty campaign can play a critical role in raising awareness for the current state of poverty within the Dominican Republic.
“Baseball is life. People breathe baseball here. People don’t have many resources. Even though they’re so poor and humble, the little that they have, they give.” -Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates
“I didn’t know that they didn’t have clean water, that was shocking to me. I just went with the kids by the river and threw rocks. I wouldn’t want to drink that (water). I went to places I know I wouldn’t have seen without Food for the Hungry. To see smiles on kids’ faces, little girls coming up giving me hugs, little boys high-fiving, playing baseball with me. It was amazing.” -Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
“I’m hearing and seeing baseball as such a huge part of the culture. You just take for granted the baseball fields you grew up on.” -Rob Refsnyder, Toronto Blue Jays
Scooter Gennett made history by becoming just the 18th player to hit FOUR home runs in a single game. The feat is more rare than a perfect game. What was he wearing during the game? None other than the Cincinnati K Poverty shirt! His shirt and gear from the game went straight to the team's Hall of Fame. Don't worry, we got him a few more!
While he did not go to the D.R. in January, Liam did done more than his fair share in helping get the word out of about the Striking Out Poverty. Liam hosted Athletes Brand at the O.Co Coliseum two separate times, to sell the Oakland version of the K Poverty shirt. He signed shirts with fans, told them about the campaign and the aid that is needed, and posed for pictures in advance of the games.
Kyle Mauch, Athletes Brand Founder, joined Food for the Hungry at the Capitol in early June 2017 to work on the foreign affairs budget with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), working toward the goal of Striking Out Poverty for good!
Pictured (L to R): Kyle Mauch, Roberto Clemente, Jr., Milam Byers (FH)
We, along with @food4thehungry, were at the Capitol this week to work on the foreign affairs budget with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (@USGLC), working toward our goal of @strikingoutpoverty for good! Take the time to look at the proposed budget cut of 32% of our International Affairs Budget and see how it makes America unsafe, and impacts millions of fellow athletes and peoples lives around the world. #BeyondTheGame #FightForWhatsRight
About Food for the Hungry
Striking Out Poverty is a “first-of-its-kind” campaign by Food for the Hungry to meet the most urgent needs in nine of the most vulnerable communities in the Dominican Republic.
Food for the Hungry offers access to life-changing resources such as clean water, medical aid, food, equal educational opportunities to girls and boys, vocational training and empowerment amid unimaginable hardships. Through their dedication, work with local leaders and overall life-altering solutions, they graduate communities in an average of 12 years, which means that the communities are then capable of sustaining themselves for years to come. Learn more at https://www.fh.org/
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