The fight against the growing epidemic of modern slavery gains a big-league ally as Albert and Deidre Pujols launch Strike Out Slavery, an initiative they formed to raise awareness about human trafficking and funds for organizations fighting the international crime. Their inaugural Hero + Living Legend Experience fundraiser culminates on Sept. 16 with Strike Out Slavery Day at Angel Stadium, giving the first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and his wife the opportunity to engage baseball fans in a battle against exploitation that enslaves 45.8 million people in 167 countries.
"As we learned about children as young as 4 years old being forced into labor and sex trafficking, we felt compelled to act," says the three-time National League MVP Award winner and two-time Gold Glove recipient. "We know that if Major League Baseball teams, players and fans join us, we could spread awareness about modern slavery and help an international network of nonprofit organizations rally against it."
The Saturday event includes the eight nonprofits benefiting from the inaugural fundraiser receiving a check on the field during the pregame. The program has hosted a fan experience contest tied to fundraising since early August and the winner will also be at the game. The Angels have offered 1,000 seats to Strike Out Slavery supporters at a discounted rate, which includes field access for an on-field Nick Jonas concert. The concert is free to all Angels ticketholders following the game.
Pujols will wear special cleats, designed by Nomad Customs, to commemorate the event and bring further awareness to the cause.
The Angels also invite all ticketholders in attendance to participate in a pregame exhibition on the Centerfield Patio featuring fun activities for kids and safety education for families. Exhibitors will distribute free child ID kits and Strike Out Slavery has invited local nonprofit organizations fighting human trafficking to set up information booths.
Strike Out Slavery was created by Albert and Deidre Pujols in 2017. The fundraising effort started on Aug. 4 to support 27 Million, A21, Agape International Missions, Exodus Cry, F.R.E.E. International, International Justice Mission, International Sanctuary and Open Gate International. To learn more, visit strikeoutslavery.com.
"Every corner of the world is plagued by human exploitation, including the United States," says Deidre Pujols. "But we believe we can help curb its growth by lending our voices to fight this global threat. Albert and I know that baseball fans are the best in the world, and we created Strike Out Slavery to give them the opportunity to learn about this insidious crime and, most importantly, the forum to do something about it."