LOS ANGELES — With a little extra hustle off of the diamond this holiday season, the Occidental College baseball and softball teams collected and donated more than 100 toys to the Violence Intervention Program on Friday.
Each Tigers player donated a gift of $ 10 or more, then through VIP the gifts will be passed along to children the organization treats for medical, dental and psychological services at the Los Angeles branch this December.
"It felt great buying gifts for children that really need and deserve the attention, especially this time of year. It is very important that we take a broader look at the world and recognize that there are people out there struggling that have not had the same fortune and opportunities," Occidental baseball coach Luke Wetmore said. "By taking a minute to make a small gesture of kindness we can positively impact the lives of people we do not know and may never meet."
The Oxy baseball team took the opportunity not only to give back, but to come together as a team with a holiday gift exchange of their own.
The Tigers exchanged gifts amongst themselves, then contributed their presents to the dual team fundraiser.
"The toy drive was a great opportunity for our team to come together for the benefit of others in need, and also helped us to realize how fortunate we are to have the privileges that we have," said Logan Allen (Atascadero), junior shortstop and an All-West Region selection last season."
VIP provides medical and mental health services to foster children and other victims of child abuse up to age 18.
VIP is collecting gifts until Dec. 21. More information can be found at their website: violenceinterventionprogram.org.