The Akron High School softball team is reaching beyond borders. The girls are working together to collect new and used softball equipment for players in the Dominican Republic.
"Young ladies there that use cereal boxes," explained Akron head coach Marlene Stone. "They fold them up and they use that as a mitt so it kind of hit home and we thought we're so lucky to have so much equipment--so why not share it?"
The Dominican Republic, a country famous for producing baseball players, is often behind when it comes to softball. When the girls from Akron heard that, they decided to lend a hand.
"Ever since I was a kid I always had you know the best gloves I could get, and everything provided for me. It's really sad to hear the people that really want to play down there don't have the equipment to do it," said Mattie Klein.
This year, as always, the Akron team has big goals on the field. But it's what they're doing off the field that's going to make a real difference for others. In fact, their goal is to collect enough equipment to fill an entire cargo plane. To help meet that goal, they took to social media.
"We went to a game the other day and some of the other players had heard about us on Facebook at Alden and showed up with big bags," Stone said.
The gear collection started recently, and the girls will continue after their season ends with their summer softball teams. Then, the plan is to go to the Dominican Republic in January, where they can host a camp and start a league.
"It makes me feel like we are doing something very good for those children over there that want to like make a difference in their life and play sports and be an athlete," Freshman Darion Jonathan said.
To find out how you can lend a hand email JustDonateSoftball@gmail.com
If you have new or old gear you can send an email and the players from Akron will come pick it up.