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NORTHFIELD LITTLE LEAGUE

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18

Jul, 2015

Northfield Little League collects equipment for kids around the world

Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 9:15 pm                                  
 
 
 

Northfield's Steve Kintish noticed one day an excess amount of baseball equipment in his house that his children no longer used.

Kintish realized his situation wasn't unique.

To handle the issue, the Northfield Little League Donation Center was formed to accept donations for baseball and softball gear, with Kintish as committee chairman.

Six years and six successful donation drives later, the center continues to exemplify the power of community outreach and charity.

"Every year this gets bigger and bigger," Kintish, 62, said. "We came out with 25, maybe 30 strong boxes of baseball equipment this year. There's so much equipment we didn't even have enough boxes for them."

Members of Northfield Little League teams, along with Northfield coaches and parents gathered at the Babe Ruth field pitcher's mound at Birch Grove Park in Northfield on Saturday morning to prepare donated baseball and softball equipment for delivery.

Each year, a different location is chosen to receive the donation. Last year, equipment was sent to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.

This year, the equipment will be sent to Florida or Texas and then shipped to Colombia for use in youth leagues.

Kintish organized the donation through Eric Goodbody, director of operations for Project Beisbol, a nonprofit international baseball organization.

"We find areas that are desperate and in need of baseball equipment and softball equipment, and we work with those on an ongoing basis making sure that they're always supplied and have everything they need," Goodbody said.

"They're playing barefoot down there. The first time they put on cleats, they're very happy. We may not speak the same language, but we do speak the same language of baseball."

Donations are accepted year-round through Northfield Little League and donation programs such as "The Acts of Kindness," which is run through the Northfield Community School system.

"It's not just about domestic, it's about international, too," Northfield City Council President Jim Travagline said. "He's done it in Puerto Rico and other areas. They reach out to the whole community. The school does a great job, and the kids do a great job, as well."

"This is just another example of promoting the sport, and this is a great example of community effort that has been going on for quite a few years," Northfield Mayor Erland Chau said. "It's a great community effort in terms of contributions to support not only sports, but those who are less fortunate. We are proud to have an activity that is something commendable not only for Northfield but this group."

Kintish also accepts donations year-round at his house. He said one of his main goals is to teach children to become more considerate of other people's needs.

"I think the biggest thing is, we give the kids the opportunity to understand that other people aren't as lucky as they are, and they should be thankful every day," Kintish said. "We should give things back to the community. The whole community is what it's about.

"We want to make sure that when they get on the field and play as a team that they are all friends and they're kind to each other, and that's the learning experience of baseball. It has nothing to do with winning and losing."

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