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This past week, I received a great email from Bridget Holzwarth of Exeter West Greenwich Little League. Her question, paraphrased, was “I wanted to check in to see if there’s a way to collectively collect equipment across RI leagues to make a donation to Paradise CA Little League and/or those towns impacted by the fire?” It reminded me of why I wanted to start the Rhode Island Baseball Experience – to connect a community of RI baseball players, communities, organizations, and to help share stories of the many positive messages not only about baseball, but the good people of Rhode Island. The devastation caused by these raging and unpredictable California fires has hit home with me as well, as one of my best friends lives just about 40 miles from the worst of these fires in Southern California.
I reached out to a very responsive member of Little League® International, Brian McClintock. McClintock is the Senior Director of Communications and has been an incredible resource for me regarding the policies and procedures of Little League® International. Here was Brian’s response when I asked him about the possibility of donations:
“Little League International has a Disaster Relief Grant program, in which our regional offices work with leagues impacted by a natural disaster to help provide the funds that can get leagues back on their feet. With the devastation in California, our Regional staff based in San Bernardino, Calif., is working on communicating with the leagues in the areas of these terrible fires to understand how we can support them. We were able to support 23 leagues last year through this grant. If individuals would like to support that program, I would encourage them to visit our donation page on LittleLeague.org:
On the form, they can indicate in the notes section that they’d like their donation to be contributed to the Disaster Relief Grant program.”
Brian also mentioned that if you have a personal connection to any player, coach, league, or organization, that you can elect to reach out to them directly to make your donation. Thank you to all the parents, coaches, and leagues who have responded so far to step up and make a donation to help those affected by these California fires.