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Little League Volunteer Kari Dahl, Pitch In For Baseball Equip Little League in California Following Fire

Little League Volunteer Kari Dahl, Pitch In For Baseball Equip Little League in California Following Fire

PIFB Donation
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Timing is everything for Pitch In for Baseball, its volunteers, and the leagues that benefit from its donations. The faster equipment is delivered, the quicker games are played, as California District 52 Safety Officer Kari Dahl proved earlier this year.

Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB), Little League’s equipment donation partner since 2005, has worked closely with Little League programs in need in the United States and around the world. Parkway Little League in Elk Grove, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento, was in need of equipment following equipment shed caught fire over Easter weekend. The league was days away from the start of its season and need an assortment of equipment.

About the same time, Ms. Dahl was picking up donations from various drop-off points at Little Leagues in Northern California’s District 52, when David Rhode, Executive Director of Pitch In for Baseball contacted her about Parkway Little League.

After receiving the call from Mr. Rhode, Ms. Dahl took it upon herself to deliver the recently-collected goods and deliver them to Elk Grove.

“This is my first season working with Pitch In For Baseball on district-wide basis,” Ms. Dahl, of Foster City in San Mateo County, Calif., said. “Half the leagues in our district have donated equipment.

“After I got the e-mail from Parkway Little League, I asked them what they needed,” Ms. Dahl said. “I had collected almost everything they needed, and the next day drove there with a truckload of equipment.”

The equipment donated through PIFB included bats of all sizes, catcher’s gear, extra helmets, uniforms and baseballs.

“It’s always more interesting and fun to deliver the equipment in person,” Mr. Rhode said. “In the United States, it is always (PIFB’s) goal to get equipment to a requesting league within three weeks. In the case of Parkway Little League, we were able to make delivery the next day, which is great!

“We’re always on the lookout for the type of situation where we can deliver quickly,” Mr. Rhode said. “The first thing we try to do is encourage donating leagues to see if there is an opportunity in their local market to help out. It’s simply easier for individual leagues to locate leagues in need in their own neck of the woods.”

To date, PIFB has donated more than 15,000 items to more than 30 charted Little League programs worldwide. For more information about how you can assist PIFB, you can visit the website at www.pitchinforbaseball.org or contact Mr. Rhode at 215-371-2841.

“I saw an article on the Little League website and contacted Pitch In For Baseball to get more details,” Ms. Dahl said. “I saw this as an opportunity to help with the process. I started with PIFB in the fall of 2007.”

Parkway Little League was able to get its season started on time do in large part to the efforts of Ms. Dahl and the existence of PIFB.

Leaving the league with an open invitation to ask for more equipment, Ms. Dahl sees Parkway Little League’s gain as a great motivator for other leagues to get involved with PIFB and to start their own equipment collection drives.

“It would be wonderful if other districts came up with their own similar initiative,” Ms. Dahl said. “The whole process in my district was to set this up for the future. I see doing an equipment donation twice-year with a collection day before the regular season and one after the season.”

There are 17 leagues in District 52. With the support of California District 52 Administrator John Christensen and the district staff, Ms. Dahl was able to secure a storage unit for the donated items.

When the call came from PIFB, Ms. Dahl was able to literally pull items off the shelf. Some leagues in the district have already established a collection program, while others just started to get involved through Ms. Dahl’s efforts.

“I approached the district then went to a league presidents meeting to pitch the proposal,” Ms. Dahl, a Little League volunteer since 1982, said. “I set up events and donation days for each league.

“I had no idea what type of response I would get, or the amount of equipment I would receive,” she said. “So far, a couple thousand of pieces of equipment have been donated, and more keeps coming in.”

In 32 years as a Little League volunteer, Ms. Dahl has coached in the Foster City Little League and held several positions on the league’s board of directors. She currently serves as a volunteer umpire.