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 does to transportation for a family 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 the players' families fo not make cost 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 Alexandra Baseball with the following expenses. 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 the mini bus taxi is $54 per week and we have five teams. To cover 15 weeks of games the to total needed is $4050. This is one of the largest expenses Alexandra Baseball has to deal with.
2)League fees. A team averages $115. We have five teams and the cost to register the teams as part of Gauteng Baseball is around $575 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 to 100 players every year.
4) 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.
5) Food. Many 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 the coaches.
Obviously, all of this totals more than $5000 - our goal of $2500 plus the matching gift from the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation. 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 and Africa On Deck truly are the best story about baseball that's not just about baseball. Thank you for your support!
Natalie Irwin, President
Africa On Deck
- Nigel Held
- Caroline De Vuono
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