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Press Release

09/09/2010 5:30 PM ET
USAID teams up with Major League Baseball Players Trust and MLB to benefit Medicines for Humanity in the Dominican Republic

Barahona, D.R. -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Major League Baseball Dominican Development Alliance (MLB-DDA), has matched a recent $50,000 grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust to Medicines for Humanity, which will expand medical services in underserved communities in the Dominican Republic. The combined contribution of $100,000 will help provide medicines and vitamins for children as well as organize a network of health promoters and establish pharmacies in 20 impoverished sugar cane communities in the Barahona province.

The project will be implemented by Medicines for Humanity and the Catholic Church with the technical support of the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral (IDDI). Among those who attended the announcement were James Watson, Interim Director of the USAID Mission in the Dominican Republic; Stan Javier, Special Assistant for the Major League Baseball Players Association; and Sandy Alderson, the Major League Baseball consultant who is overseeing the sport's operations in the Dominican Republic.

"This Alliance with Major League Baseball is the ideal channel to raise resources through baseball in order to promote community development in the Dominican Republic," Watson said. "This initiative is one more example of how baseball helps the underserved in the Dominican Republic."

"The MLB-DDA is an example of MLB's commitment to improve Dominican society," said Alderson. "Many of our players come from poor communities, and through the MLB-DDA, players, teams, and fans have the opportunity to help these communities by supporting education, health, and economic development projects."

Medicines for Humanity (MFH) is a nonprofit organization with the goal of combating child malnutrition and infant mortality in Africa, Haiti, and Latin America. In the Dominican Republic, MFH has carried out maternal/child medical projects in 42 batey communities of Consuelo and Quisqueya.

"We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to reach more at-risk children in the Dominican Republic," stated Timothy W. Bilodeau, Executive Director of Medicines for Humanity.

The Major League Baseball Players Trust awarded its $50,000 grant to Medicines for Humanity in March 2010. Since 2002, Major League players have committed more than $600,000 through the Trust to support community development projects in the Dominican Republic.

"On behalf of all Major League players, I would like to thank the United States Agency for International Development and the Major League Baseball Dominican Development Alliance for their generosity and financial support," said Melissa Persaud, Director of the Players Trust for the MLBPA. "This matching grant will further the efforts of Medicines for Humanity and the Players Trust in helping Dominican families in need of the lifesaving medicines, vitamins and healthcare we all take for granted."

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com or visit the Players Trust channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/MLBPlayersTrust.

The MLB-DDA was created to attract resources from the MLB industry to support sound community development projects in the Dominican Republic, a country that produced more than 10 percent of MLB players on 2010 Opening Day rosters. USAID provided $1 million to benefit partnering 501(c)3 certified community development organizations in the DR. To date, the MLB-DDA has channeled over $840,000 to support 16 projects in the Caribbean nation.

To learn more about the MLB-DDA, please visit www.mlb-dda.org.