Many college baseball teams engage in community service and charity, and I want to highlight the efforts of two teams today.
Led by senior catcher Mike Melillo, Elon has put together a "Pinch Hit for Haiti" campaign to provide relief for victims of Tuesday's devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Melillo started by e-mailing coaches at every NCAA school in North Carolina today with the goal of getting every player to donate at least $1 to the Red Cross to aid the earthquake victims. Then the Phoenix expanded the project to try to reach every NCAA Division I, D-II and D-III team in the country.
“The idea is to pay it forward because we’re not in a situation to physically help,” Melillo said. “We want to offer our help in any way we can. Although our donations may be small individually, we feel that collectively as student-athletes our support will be of great assistance.”
As programs donate money, a page on the Elon website will track the donations of teams and states from around the country.
Donations are being made directly to the Red Cross in a variety of ways. Donations to the Haiti Relief and Development fund can be made at www.redcross.org. You can also donate $10 via your mobile phone by texting “Haiti” to 90999.
Individuals who donate can have their total added to that of their favorite team by e-mailing their name, amount of their donation, Red Cross tracking ID number and the name of the team they support to PinchHitforHaiti@gmail.com. The running total for schools will be updated daily through the end of February.
This effort came together very quickly and received considerable support immediately. Kudos to Melillo and the Phoenix for taking it upon themselves to make a real difference in a time of tragedy.
Elsewhere, on Monday, Dayton announced a "For The Good Of Gloves" program to help youths in need. The Flyers will collect and donate gloves to give to SCORE International and to Building Bridges to distribute at their baseball camps and clinics.
"UD baseball's contribution will have a positive impact on our kids. Several of the kids that attend our SCORE International baseball camps do not even have a baseball glove and play bare-handed or with cardboard gloves," said former Kentucky coach Keith Madison, who is the baseball representative for SCORE International. "It's a tribute to Dayton, (head coach) Tony Vittorio, and the baseball program to have compassion for these kids and to share the game of baseball with them."
The Flyer baseball team is also involved with the following initiatives in the Miami Valley: Muscular Dystrophy Association, Christmas on Campus, Dayton Children's Hospital.
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