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Thanks for the Love


Cleats for Kids has become a message of love from us to the world. 
These are the people who have inspired us:


Photo of Nathan Dombrowski

Nathan Dombrowski  -- a 10 year-old from Illinois , Nathan was a promising Little Leaguer. 
But one day, playing with his friends, he fell on a fence post and died instantly.  In his memory,
Nathan’s family has donated money to our cause.  Thanks to the Dombrowski family.


Teresa Sims(Redwood Capital Bank) raffles quilt


Teresa Sims and Redwood Capital Bank  --  A drop-off point for new or used baseball equipment,
the bank has become a major supporter of our program.  They have helped us raffle this quilt, made
from Dominican cloth and featuring the children of the country.


Harold Hilfiker of Hilfiker Pipe in Eureka California.


Hilfiker Pipe Company of Eureka is constructing a project in the Dominican Republic .  The company
has donated $1200 to Cleats for Kids as a way of giving back to the country.  Harold Hilfiker presented
a check for the money at the Hilfiker Company headquarters in Eureka . Hilfiker said: “When we
originally bid the project as a Material Supplier, we decided then if we were awarded the contract, we
would donate a portion of our profit from our project in the DR to your worthwhile program.  We
are an international supplier of proprietary Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls {MSE].”


Girl Scout Troop 70229 of Humboldt Hill Eureka, California


Girl Scout troop  70229  of Humboldt Hill.  They collected Frisbees and jump ropes for the girls of
El Limon in the Dominican Republic .  They used their project to learn about Dominican food and
custom and they have written letters to children their age.


Carlos Avelar of Murphey's Market in Sunnybrae California


Carlos Avelar of Murphy’s Market in Sunnybrae.  Through the market, he has contributed school
equipment and shoes for the kids.  As a supporter of McKinleyville Little League, he has
contributed jerseys and uniforms to the children of El Limon.


Special Thanks


And a special thank you to Peggy Sue Tucker at Redwood Coast Media for managing our website. 
I could not do it without her.

Baseball's Miracle

From the Eureka Reporter

Under contract for 120 million dollars, Giants pitcher Barry Zito had just had the worst night of his career,
yanked after four miserable innings against his old team, the Oakland Athletics. "No gas," as they say in
the game. Still, I'm sure he had enough gas to get home and - move on. At 12 million a year, I'm sure he
can. My gas tank was hovering on empty that day. Because of gas prices, I've been out of the county once
since I bought the new car, and I monitor the gauge more closely than my own pulse. Still, as much as I love
baseball, I wouldn't have traded places with Barry Zito-not then, not any day. Nor would I have given up the
day I spent here at home. And my reasons spring from the same well within your reach. I'd started my day
in Rodney Brunlinger's office. He works for Humboldt County's tax assessor, and an official visit from him
can be really good news, or really bad. He showed me a baseball glove stashed in his bottom drawer
along with a dozen balls, all donated by office-mates and his boss, and all intended for my Little Leaguers
in the Dominican Republic. Through him, the Humboldt Crabs semi-pro baseball team has agreed to
collect old equipment at their games this summer. I'll have a collection barrel at every game. And Redwood
Capitol Bank has offered to store the goods and also be a drop-off location. Through Cleats for Kids, the
poor children of El Limon are beginning to learn that somewhere, far away, strangers love them and wish
for them happy lives.

Next, I visited my own storage unit where I barely have room for my own belongings. For months, I have
been squirreling away bats, balls and gloves. Among them are gloves rescued by workers at Arcata
Community Recycling. Wet and mildewed, they had been cleaned, refurbished and now they looked new.
I have another bag from my old friend Lenny Vasquez, the gravelly-voiced proprietor of Eureka's Klondike
Card Room. Then, I stopped at a medical clinic where they have been collecting extra supplies, the kind
a health clinic in a poor village will surely need. I'll be sending them down with the baseball stuff. Even on
the days I am consumed with my own "issues" and forget to be happy, people remember my project and
take me there. At Eureka Rescue Mission, I had stacked my boxes in a big pile and waited for the "God
Squad" to spring to action. They are former street people recovering from life gone wrong. With food,
shelter and scripture study, they have been preparing for life on their own, a job, a home, a second chance.
And with orange tee-shirt uniforms, they love to demonstrate their newfound faith. With tape, labels and
lots of patience, they loaded my stuff -- baseballs, gloves, and sterile bandages into large boxes and
carried them to a waiting van. We dropped them at our shipping point. Another 500 pounds of goods are
headed to the Dominican Republic. When people ask me where such ideas come from, I think of my
mother, a small-town school teacher with hot rebel blood. When she was forced to retire, she updated
her passport and took off for a year to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean where she tutored
kids. Until she died, she would send boxes of used textbooks for the village school. Nothing else she did
made her as happy. In a 1967 CBS News documentary "Hippie Temptation," a philosopher theorized that
all kids wanted that kind of happiness. Alienated by materialism, war and old ideals, they wanted ecstasy--
the real thing. And people like Dr. Timothy Leary believed it was right to use drugs like LSD to get it. I
wanted to be happy too, but I guess I wanted to find my own way-counter to the counterculture. Today I still
believe in ecstasy as a natural state of mind. I think everyone is entitled to it. And I find it a miracle that we
can achieve that state with the chemicals already found within our own bodies. I was reminded of that the
day Barry Zito lost, and I won. The miracle of such miracle days is that they last a long time. The cold, windy
day after my baseball shipment, I pumped 40 dollars I didn't have into my gas tank. And it didn't matter. They
couldn't take away my "day." Very few of us have the skill to throw a fastball as Barry Zito can. And even he
can't do it all the time. But we all have the ability to make a miracle day, and it's easier than you think, as
easy as helping someone else do something they cannot do for themselves. It's good to have friends, better
to have a plan. But the ecstasy source comes from your own deep and precious place. It just takes patience
to find it-or open to the possibility that it will find you. Facing an uncertain Monday this week, I found two
baseball gloves in my office mailbox. That's all I needed to know.




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Children of the Dominican Republic