We never dreamed we would find baseball in one of the most unlikely places on earth...the township of Alexandra. Baseball gives the players and coaches an outlet from what is otherwise a difficult life.
Here is our challenge. The average household income in Alexandra is $230 a month. Half of that money goes to transportation and then the family has to pay rent, school fees and buy food. No family has extra money for their child to play baseball. Also, many of our players' famlies do not make close to the average.
For Giving Tuesday December 3, 2019, we have been given a gift from the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation. If we can raise $2500 they will match our donations. We would like to support the team in meeting the following expenses as it takes constant fundraising to keep the club afloat.
1) Transportation for the teams to the games. Not one player on the team has a car. We use mini bus taxis to get the teams to their games each week. The average cost for a mini bus taxi is $54 per week and we have five teams. To cover 15 weeks of games the total needed is $4050. This is one of the largest expenses Alexandra Basball has to deal with.
2) League fees. A team averages $115. We have five teams and the cost to register the teams at part of Gauteng Baseball is around $460 each season which runs from October through April.
3) Equipment. 100% of the equipment for Alexandra Baseball comes from donations from the US. Little leagues, high schools, travel teams and generous donors outfit approximately 75 players every year.
5) Shipping. It is simply too expensive to ship equipment to Johannesburg from the US. Currently we ask friends traveling to South Africa to take an extra bag with them on their trip and the equipment makes its way to Alexandra through people on the ground. A typical extra bag fee can range from $50-$100 per bag.
6) Food. May of the players go without many things. We try on the weekends to prepare lunches or create a deal with the local tuck shop (concession stand) to both support the league and get the players and coaches a solid meal. It costs about $75 a weekend to feed every player and all of th coaches.
Obviously, all of this totals more than $5000 (our goal). But, this is the reality of what it takes to keep 75-100 players involved in a positive activity that builds self esteem and teamwork. In a township, there are few opportunities to accomplish this.
Alexandra Baseball truly is the best story about baseball that's not just about baseball. Thank you for you supporting Africa On Deck!
- Michael Brauer
- Karen Brant
- Rich and Tracey Campbell
- Abbie Dougherty
- Suzanne Clements
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