Pioneers Softball To Donate Items to Troops Overseas

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes

The softball team will be collecting donations for Give2theTroops on Saturday April 9.

The CSU East Bay softball team will host its second annual “Support the Troops Day” on April 9, when the Pioneers take on CSU Dominguez Hills in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.

The team has partnered with Give2theTroops to collect donations of sundry items to be sent to troops serving overseas.

This Saturday’s game will allow fans to write messages for the troops and buy raffle tickets to win prizes and collect money to support Give2theTroops.

The Pioneers are particularly dedicated to supporting the U.S. Military, as Head Coach Barbara Pierce’s parents are both veterans, junior Breezy Johnson’s brother is set to deploy soon with the Army and senior Nikki Freiberg was recently sworn in and will be joining the Marines after graduation.

“I have the utmost respect for our military and their selfless service to our country,” Pierce said.

“I feel that our support of our troops, especially during times of war, is a small way we can say thank you for their sacrifice.”

This is the second year the team has joined Give2theTroops to collect items and funds to show support for our country’s service men and women. This year, the team is looking forward to further engaging the community in the event and has invited local elementary school students and their families to the game.

The first 50 youth in attendance will be invited to join the team on the field for the national anthem, performed by Pioneer women’s basketball player Sarah Finlay, and get a chance to play games and win prizes during the doubleheader.

Fans are encouraged to bring items including non-perishable foods, toiletries, entertainment items, sports equipment and other comfort items for donation.

The team will be collecting the items for shipment overseas and a complete list of requested and banned items is available here. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to write special messages and cards to show their support of the troops, as well as purchase raffle tickets to win prizes, with proceeds going to Give2theTroops to purchase donation items and shipping supplies.

Give2theTroops, Inc., was founded in 2002 by the wife of a Marine Corps Reservist who set out to support the troops and boost morale through the shipment of letters and items donated by volunteers.

To date, Give2theTroops has shipped more than 115,000 packages and 30 million letters and cards to more than 1 million American troops deployed in combat zones overseas, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar and Pakistan. The organization is a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt nonprofit and donations are tax deductible.

“I have been working with Give2theTroops since 2009,” Piece said.

“We previously only made donations as a team, but I wanted to make it an event to bring more attention to Give2theTroops. They are doing great work. We have brave men and women fighting for our freedom all over the world and the more we can do for them the better.”

The Pioneers and Toros are set for an 11 a.m. first pitch on Saturday at Pioneer Softball Field. Admission to the game is free and the team will be collecting items throughout the day on Saturday.