Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baseball Team and Fans Help Haiti

Season Tickets Raffle Raises Funds and Awareness

A sense of normalcy is taking shape in Haiti, as government officials sort out the best logistical way to relocate the estimated 400,000 evacuees in the country, to a number of areas on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Volunteers are making strides as they clean up debris and human feces that clutter many streets in the devastated capital city. Food and supplies from across the world is making its way at a considerable pace to some of the most needy survivors.

Eight days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed the place nearly two million people called home, sporadic good news brings about a minute sigh of relief. Late Wednesday, after a 5.9-magnitude quake aftershock sent survivors and soldiers scrambling for shelter, a relative walked into a makeshift hospital with his five-year-old nephew. The boy had been trapped beneath rubble since the Jan. 12 quake. The boy needed immediate medical care, like thousands wounded or exhausted, as a result of the natural disaster.

Volunteer doctors are performing surgical procedures in some of the worst conditions imaginable. Looting is a growing safety concern, as some survivors take drastic and dangerous methods, in an attempt to get food or water. In the midst of all the suffering, sorrow and shockingly squalid conditions is an international relief effort that includes monetary, military and medical support. Even with the nearly $1 billion in foreign aid and the $170 million the White House recently pledged to help Haiti recover, the need is still substantial. While the need is great, the general consensus is that every little bit helps. You can text a donation to the Red Cross, volunteer as a translator or help sort donated food bound for Haiti being collected at many non-profits, depending on your hometown.

A Minor League baseball team in Bowie, MD, just outside of Washington, DC is giving fans a chance to donate by taking a chance on season tickets. “We are very optimistic that our fans will come through,” says Tom Sedlacek, communications manager for the Bowie Baysox.


The team is partnering with U.S. Fund for UNICEF and gives fans the chance to win season tickets by purchasing a $10 raffle ticket. UNICEF’s global humanitarian efforts focus mainly on providing children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, and emergency relief. “One of the reasons we picked UNICEF is because 100 percent of the money raised will go to support the organization’s relief efforts that benefit the children of Haiti,” says Sedlacek. While the natural disaster may go on record as one of the worst quakes in history, the outpouring of logistical and physical support, national military forces and millions in monetary donations show us all that the best can come from the worst.

The raffle lasts until 5 p.m., Jan. 29.The winner will have a baseball fan’s perfect view of the game because the tickets are for the lower reserved section of the stadium. Team officials estimate the value of the season tickets at more than $1,100.00. For more information and to take a chance on the tickets, while making a difference, log on to http://www.baysox.com/.

The winner will be announced on Friday, Feb. 5.

For more information about UNICEF, log on to www.unicefusa.org.

Please forward all questions, comments or concerns about this article to Maniko Barthelemy at newheels@gmail.com.

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