Baseball equipment donation project

Hello
I am a longtime reader of DR1, but this is my first post. For that a reason, I am apologizing in advance if am either too long winded or don't give enough information.

My name is Steve Pindar. I am American and live in NY State. My wife and I have also been doing mission work in the DR since 1997. We maintain an apartment in San Pedro de Macoris and travel there 2 or 3 times each year. For the past few years our work in the DR has focused on feeding the hungry and we also collect items here in the States (clothing, eyeglass frames, medical supplies, shoes, baseball equipment) which we ship to the DR and distribute to those in need.

One of my projects - the baseball equipment project - has grown steadily since it first began in 1999 with a single donation. The concept of the program is simple - we collect new and used baseball equipment in all sizes and for all ages from teams/schools/organizations/leagues all over the USA. This equipment is shipped to the DR and distributed to children who are playing with little or no equipment. In 2004 we collected almost 4,000 lbs of equipment, which was shipped to the DR and distributed in May, 2005. In 2005, we collected almost 6,000 lbs of equipment which will soon be on its way to the DR. Although it's impossible to come up with the exact number of children who have received equipment, it's fair to say that literally thousands and thousands of children have received equipment through the years.

This year our baseball equipment project has grown once again, as I recently entered into a partnership with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Roberto Clemente Family, and a man from Pennsylvania who operates a program similiar to ours in Puerto Rico. It is our intention to send donations of equipment this year to the DR, Puerto Rico and also another country such as Mexico.

From what I understand, these forums/threads are read by people from all over the world, and it is my intention/hope to make this a global project.

We are currently looking for donations as well as those who might be interested in either sponsoring a collection and/or acting as a collection site for a certain geographic area.

To answer the most frequenly asked question ahead of time - what kind of equipment do you accept? We gladly accept new and gently worn baseball equipment. If it has anything to do with baseball we accept it.

Since I am new here, and have never posted before, I realize that I don't have any history, which may lead someone to say "how do we know this man is who he says he is and that he just isn't using this equipment for his own gain?" If that is the case, please feel free to contact me. I am more than willing to provide URL's for articles that have been printed through the years regarding our work in the DR, as well as a URL for on online photo album of our work.

Thank you very much for your kind consideration of this project.
 

trina

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Jan 3, 2002
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I have spoken with Steve on the phone, and have provided him with a contact from Calgary who will hopefully get involved with this project. Steve has sent me links to articles, and it is apparent he is doing great work for the DR. Should anyone like for me to forward these articles, please feel free to PM me. I would get involved, but I have literally 0 time to focus on this right now.
 

Cleef

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Feb 24, 2002
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Why don't you post those URL's to get the juices flowing.

I'm in San Francisco, CA. I would gladly do my part here.

We have the Alou's here, and I don't think they'd hesitate to be a part of a promotion to get fans to bring said items to the ballpark. We have a shining new Juan Marichal statue that would serve as a great depository point for fans to donate equipment at.

Say the word and I'll get that ball rolling.

My only hesitation is that the equipment ends up in communities, not in the back of a Leonel's Jeepeta.

Edited to add: The SFGiants have a "Junior Giants" program where they receive similar equipment and distribute it locally. I have written the Alou's personally (individually) to see if they would be willing to lend a hand. I'll report back if/when I learn anything.
 
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Snowbird

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Jan 17, 2002
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Steve,
An outstanding effort! Your work is greatly appreciated.

Maybe it would help if the people could know how to contact you or where to send the equipment if they want to make a donation for you to bring to the DR.

SB
 

dominrick

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Mar 28, 2006
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I live in Michigan and just shipped 2,000 pounds of supplies to Santiago. The shipping was outrageous. If I can't come up with something better, I am just going to buy most of the stuff that we distribute there. The problem being, most people would rather donate stuff as opposed to money. How do you ship? Have you had any issues with customs?
Any info would be helpful.
Dominrick
 

Snowbird

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Jan 17, 2002
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I'm sure Steve will be able to provide some shipping information. He, like all of us, has come to realize that solving the shipping problem is the biggest piece of the puzzle. It's just too bad that the gov't. won't provide a "charitable allowance" for situations such as this.

Do any readers have an inside track with the gov't.?

SB
 
Dominrick - can I ask a few questions? -
1. What kind of supplies did you ship to Santiago?
2. Did you ship via air or sea?
3. Were the items shipped by a 501c3 or other non profit?
4. How long did it take the supplies to get to the DR?
5. After they arrived in the DR, how long did it take for themto clear aduana (customs) as well as the port?
6. Was your shipment consigned to some type of 501c3, non profit, church etc in the DR?
7. Were the donations shipped to Santo Domingo?

If you could answer these questions, it would help me to get a better handle on your situation.

SB - thanks for your support. As SB knows, like so many, I have had more than my fair share of "fun and games" with aduana over the years.

Trina and Cleef - thanks very much to you both as well for your support and assistance.
 

dominrick

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Mar 28, 2006
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Dominrick - can I ask a few questions? -
1. What kind of supplies did you ship to Santiago? 170 backpacks full of school supplies, t shirts, sandals, toys, baseballs, gloves, personal hygene items, misc. for delivery to Children Int'l sponsored children in Santiago/Santo Domingo for a mission project in May.
2. Did you ship via air or sea? AIR
3. Were the items shipped by a 501c3 or other non profit? 501C3
4. How long did it take the supplies to get to the DR? The Santo Domingo goods arrived in less than one week (we just shipped last Saturday) The Santiago office has not received shipment yet.
5. After they arrived in the DR, how long did it take for themto clear aduana (customs) as well as the port? No hold up in Santo Domingo. We do not know about Santiago.
6. Was your shipment consigned to some type of 501c3, non profit, church etc in the DR? No for Santo Domingo, although we had a letter from our church attached that stated all goods were for humanitarian purposes and would not be resold. They were consigned to our facilitator in Santo Domingo (he is housing us, but not an official non-profit)
7. Were the donations shipped to Santo Domingo? 5 cases (27 backpacks and supplies) balance 36 cases (143 backpacks and supplies) to Santiago.

I have learned more about the process since joining this forum, but it still seems to be the main stumbling block in the whole process of humanitarian relief efforts. I have found that if you show a cause, people come through. Collecting the goods has never been a problem, but the shipping is so dog gone expensive, and such a mystery that most people give up before they get started. You really have to be committed to see things through to get things from point A (US) to point B (DR) and from what I understand from friends in Canada, it's even worse there. IT's too bad, because if this piece of the puzzle could be solved, I think you would see a real outpouring of help.

We have found that one of the most cost effective ways of getting relief to the people is through the sponsorship program at Children Int'l, however, that only works if you are trying to get stuff to a sponsored child or family.

Appreciate any and all suggestions.
Dominrick
 
Dominrick - thanks for answering my questions, and thanks also for your time on the phone today.

First, I want to commend you on the great work you're doing in the DR.

It sounds like you've got everything very well organized. The one thing I would comment on regarding shipping is that from the price you listed regarding your shipment that went by air, it appears that shipping by air is much more expensive than shipping by sea, even with your friend from Fed Ex's 75% discount.

I think you said you shipped approx. 1 ton (2,000 lbs) for $3000. Right now a full 40 sea container from the US to the DR costs around $3200. A 40 ft sea container will hold approx. 5 tons of mdse. I'm guessing that due to your location in MI, and the fact that you aren't near the ocean, you'd incur some costs in getting your donations to the closest port, but I would still think that in the end, shipping by sea would still save you quite a bit of $.

Re: Aduana/customs - it's just great (and highly unusual) that the portion of your shipment that went to Santo Domingo cleared customs in such a short time period.

Like many people, I have had more than my fair share of "fun and games" with aduana over the years, and have learned many lessons the hard way. To sum things up, I think it's fair to say that problems in aduana still persist, with it making no difference who the President is. I wish I could say that the problems have lessened during the current Presidential administration, but that really isn't the case. Many times, people who send donations to the
DR are still waiting 2 months or more until they clear customs, and then after that most times they wait again to get them out of the port.

I have a dominican friend here in the States, who sends large shipments of donations to the DR on a regular basis. He continues to have problems (he has been waiting over 3 months for a shipment of hospital supplies to clear customs). He is also aware of the problems we have encountered over the years. This man knows President Fernandez personally, and is going to speak to him about the problems in aduana sometime this spring in Santo Domingo. I'm not sure if this will help, but it certainly can't hurt.
 

deelt

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Mar 23, 2004
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Hi Steve,

I've seen your letter before. Please, check you PMs (private messages).
Glad to read things are well with you.

Deelt

Steve Pindar said:
My name is Steve Pindar. I am American and live in NY State. My wife and I have also been doing mission work in the DR since 1997. We maintain an apartment in San Pedro de Macoris and travel there 2 or 3 times each year. For the past few years our work in the DR has focused on feeding the hungry and we also collect items here in the States (clothing, eyeglass frames, medical supplies, shoes, baseball equipment) which we ship to the DR and distribute to those in need.

...

Thank you very much for your kind consideration of this project.