A Little League team from Uganda is the first ever from Africa to reach the final tournament at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. For these boys, it’s a whole new world: the crowds in the stands, the national media, the luxury of their lodgings.
Along with their countryfolk behind them, the team from Uganda had the continent of Africa cheering them on. In fact, many in America were also in attendance at Williamsport to cheer on the underdogs. And they became media darlings over the weekend with the New York Times, and countless other outlets covering them.
They had a lot of attention, but they had few possessions. It all resulted in a heart-warming tale of reaching out to those who have less, and also brought out some truths behind why we give.
These boys came with the shirts on their backs and little else. Other teams took notice.
“…the Ugandan kids don’t even have flip-flops. They have nothing,” said the club from New Castle, Indiana. They expressed this to their families back home. A Facebook campaign was started; phone calls were made. “We’ve probably had 50 people donate,” said a New Castle photographer, Mike McKown. 2000 articles of clothing were sent over.
According to PennLive.com, “The other 15 teams in the series have expressed interest in donating used equipment to the team to take home.”
This was a wonderful story. But I had to ask, “why now?” These boys had been living without much their whole lives. Plus, hearing the parents’ concern that these boys don’t have adequate sportswear, I thought about the kids in Haiti who eat dried mud to stave off hunger.
It seemed inconsistent.
Americans famously donate more than any other people, but I guess it takes a trigger. It takes exposure. It’s easy to see the lack when your son is wearing top-of-the-line shoes and their sons use borrowed ones. Stories, images, even video of people’s poverty by itself is often not enough. Once it’s right in front of us, though, we open our hearts.
And once you get the giving bug going, people really catch on.
to new plateaus,