The community of Fort Lauderdale has spent the last three years going above and beyond to support the 12U Lightning, a baseball team that has seen its players stick together for the last 5 years. Being on the team has not only meant that they grew up together, but it has also fostered a sense of community among the players and their parents.
The team has worked tirelessly every year in order to make sure that its players have the opportunity to stay in the game. Gearing into Year 3 on FlipGive, the team has raised nearly $10,000 to help fund the cost of their Cooperstown tournaments and travel.
Kimberly Pearson, a team mom helping lead the charge on their fundraising page, described it as “[FlipGive] made it easy and painless to raise funds. We don’t have an administrator, so all the parents are volunteers and busy as it is. It’s hard to ask them to do more. What we liked about the program is that we’re shopping online anyway, so why not raise money for the kids at the same time. Need groceries? Order them through your phone over your lunch break, skip the line after work, and earn money back for the kids. It just made so much sense.”
Through their efforts, many families were able to offset their registration and tournament costs for the season. With the cost of sports rising each year, the dollars they've raised helped keep the boys in the game they love.
With all of their success, we asked them what things other teams could do to reach their goals and get in the game.
"We rallied the moms and shared our fundraising page on Facebook leading up to Mother’s Day and Christmas to encourage people to make the purchases they would have made anyway through our page. We even started to set up reminders in our phones to shop for our groceries, clothes for the kids and sports gear through our fundraising page. We wanted to make a habit of checking our FlipGive page first so we didn’t risk leaving money on the table and miss any chance to support our boys.”
What resounded from our conversation with Kimberly was how important a supportive community was to the success of the team. Not only did these families fundraise together to make baseball more accessible, but they navigated the ups and down of a season together, celebrated game wins together, and shared the collective goal of wanting their children to succeed.
Parents know sports have the ability to transform and develop youth beyond the game itself. What sometimes get forgotten, however, are the countless hours and dedication families, coaches, and managers pour into sports to make it so great. These resilient communities are part of what build up our children and what makes baseball, and all sports, amazing.
If you would like to help out Fort Lauderdale 12U reach the 2017 Cooperstown tournament, click here.