EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Yissette Van De Loecht was born and raised in the Dominican Republic until her family relocated to the United States.
She recalls, “we were seven brothers and sisters so it was a big family from a low income, and then coming to the U.S. looking for a dream.”
Today, Yissette has three children enrolled in Notre Dame, a private school in East Stroudsburg. Every summer, they visit the Dominican Republic.
“Going back there is always kind of humbling,” Van De Loecht adds.
In the Dominican Republic, Yissette’s 8-year-old son plays baseball with the other kids. But, he notices they play barefoot and without proper clothes or equipment. Many times, the kids even bundle up socks to use as a ball.
“They don’t have equipment, they might get hit in the head by a bat or by the ball. I’m sad about that,” says Sven Van De Loecht, 3rd grade.
The family is asking for your help. They’re collecting donations to send to the players in the Dominican Republic. That includes new or used baseball pants, team shirts, cleats, balls, gloves and gear.
“It doesn’t matter what condition they are. Poor kids will really appreciate everything,” Van De Loecht says.
Despite the conditions, baseball is a big deal in the Dominican Republic. In fact, many major league players are from there. “Baseball is the main thing for all the little kids,” she says.
Now through April 30th, donations are being accepted at two Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Wilkins and Associates locations in Stroudsburg and Bushkill.