Sports teach children about unity and trust, about how to express themselves more freely and sports can help children discover their gifts and talents.Continue Reading ›
The anticipation of the official launch of “batey baseball” with Albert Pujols, the president of Rawlings, 60 Minutes, the Pujols Family Foundation and of course Compassion, is evident at Batey Aleman. People have really come together in this community to take ownership of it, to take pride in it, and to give thanks for it.Continue Reading ›
I found out today that the word “batey” is Creole for a shanty town. I find it hard to imagine feeling good about wearing the word “batey” on a uniform. I would have difficulty feeling a sense of belonging with that polarizing label sewn across my chest.
For these kids, that does not matter. Where they come from is more than a degrading label. Where they come from is their family, their friends and their God, who does not distinguish between Batey Aleman and Beverly Hills.
Yesterday was Father’s Day in the Dominican Republic. It’s no coincidence that the day we handed out uniforms to these young men and boys is a day that represents the absence of a father for many of them.
When we arrived at the batey, we assembled all of the parents for a meeting. The assembly was mostly mothers and the lack of fathers present at the meeting was very noticeable.
Four years ago, the Alfa y Omega Student Center opened its doors to the children of the community in San Benito, Nicaragua. And the work that initially looked hard is now obtaining great results.
Little more than a year ago, the idea of putting together sports teams at the center flourished. Three teams were formed: baseball, volleyball and soccer, and children volunteered to be part of one of them.
Giving back to the community has become chic for many who are in the public eye and have the resources to do so, but for St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, it isn’t about what’s fashionable or what looks good. It’s about being faithful to a God, Who has given him much, and helping the children he loves in his native Dominican Republic.
As Albert steps off one of Major League Baseball’s many well-manicured baseball diamonds, he often finds himself stepping onto the dusty streets of the Dominican Republic. But he’s not coming to play baseball, nor is he coming to instill in the children who live the way he once lived a love of the game he is now famous for.
His mission is to provide to those who are less fortunate something we in the United States take for granted – rectangular mattresses to sleep on.
For many of the world’s poor in places such as the Dominican Republic, a mattress isn’t a necessity: It’s a luxury. For Albert, this is a tangible and lasting way to use baseball as a ministry in his homeland. Through his partnership with Compassion, he is able to provide to those less fortunate something that will last for months and years to come.
But it’s not just mattresses that Albert is providing to the people of the Dominican Republic. To find out what else he’s doing, read his story in the summer issue of.