Coming off of a game with nine strikeouts always feels good to a pitcher, but for this season, the victory was even more meaningful because I knew that with each strikeout, we could prevent families from going hungry.
At the beginning of this season, I began a fundraising campaign to help fight hunger. Partnering with Food for the Hungry, a Christian relief organization, we are providing basic essential needs (food, water, and shelter) for communities and families in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. With every strikeout that I pitch, we’re asking people to pledge a certain amount for the cause. We currently have $125 earned per strikeout and I match every dollar we raise. Each pledge doesn’t have to be a lot, but if we get a lot of little donations, then we can save people from starvation, and anyone can have the chance to participate in this!
With the money that we raise, Food for the Hungry is setting up food programs within these developing countries, teaching them how to farm and grow their own food while providing food for them in the meantime. There are a lot of people who are hungry but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Pledges can be made at https://www.bigleagueimpact.org/
I never want to seem like a walking billboard, I’m not trying to sell anyone anything, instead, I want to show people how they can have an impact. The reason I got on social media at all was not to show everyone what I’m doing all the time, I wanted to bring awareness to the needs around us—these initiatives mean too much to me to stay silent. When I see people hungry or thirsty, people who don’t have a roof over their heads, sleeping in a cardboard box, drinking water out of puddles, eating food out of dumpsters, I have to do something about it. I can’t sit back and not do anything about it. And I can’t help but think that if other people knew about this, they would truly want to help too, so I have to tell them about it!
I believe this is a big part of my calling—helping those in need while spreading the word about it so that others can help as well.
When I was hurt in 2011 and had to stop playing, I needed an outlet, something to keep my mind at ease, so I took up gardening and became completely enthralled with it. Now I have two gardens and a pretty vast farm which put out a large amount of produce each year. Half the money that we receive from our buyer here in Georgia goes directly to our charity to serve the basic needs of others both locally as well as in developing countries.
My wife and I got our first taste of helping save lives from poverty when we took a trip to Ethiopia with Crisis Aid, a local St. Louis charity that is fighting hunger both in the United States and in East Africa. We immediately realized the enormous need there is to keep people from starvation both around the world and we wanted to make sure that those who are about to die from a lack of food, don’t. It’s something that can be put to an end with the right efforts.
As my wife and I searched for what sort of charity cause we could be a part of, we found a lot of great ministries that served people in a variety of ways, but when we discovered that we could help provide these basic needs—the things we take for granted every day and couldn’t live without, which others are lacking—we knew we had to get involved. With my love for growing food, I knew I wanted to help other people be able to eat.
We can do way more than just give these communities a good meal, we want to teach and empower them to grow food to feed themselves. Our goal is to create a self-sustainable system so that they can benefit from healthy, plentiful food. The more I learn about how to grow these kinds of nutritionally-rich foods, the more I can serve my community both locally and globally.
Combining my love for farming with my passion to see starvation come to an end, I know that we can make a huge impact in the lives of those who may never have had the chance to experience life to it’s fullest before. That needs to change. So my focus remains: one pitch at a time.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” —Matthew 25:40
Adam Wainwright is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Adam’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/adamwainwright/
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