Meredith Kim, CEO:

“Despite this challenging year, there have been so many things to celebrate in 2020 and it was too hard to pick just one. The very last thing I did before the shutdown in March was travel to Minneapolis to present equipment for the School-Based Program we do in partnership with the Minnesota Twins. Meeting coaches and players always reinforces why we do what we do and it was amazing to hear the impact the donation has on their programs. I also had the pleasure of meeting Madi and her father who had run a massive collection of softball equipment. They arrived with a giant U-Haul, stuffed to the brim with softball gear. It is to date the largest collection of softball equipment we have ever received. Her excitement and energy was infectious and she promised to see us again in 2021. I also love that we had a chance to catch up with two twin boys from Honduras who lost their father, received equipment from us nearly 5 years ago, and are still playing ball today.”

Steve Bizon, Director of Operations & Partnerships:

“Over 7 years at Pitch In For Baseball & Softball, I’ve experienced so many wonderful things. It’s truly amazing how much the company has grown over the past few years. Our Northern Kentucky program, which is supported by the Cincinnati Reds and St. Elizabeth, is one of my favorite yearly programs. In January 2020, I was given the opportunity to meet many of the coaches and players at the distribution event. Although I’ve connected with coaches over the phone for the past several years, I never was able to meet them in person. It was so special to meet representatives from the programs we have supported. The distribution event allowed me to see their excitement and gratitude as they opened the donations. As we turn the calendar to 2021, I am excited for another year of great programming. PIFBS will begin the year with over 30 donations to programs in Northern Kentucky. “

Chris Albright, Operations & Program Manager:

“My favorite moment from 2020 was our event with the Port. St. Lucie Mets in Florida. For this event, we were able to pack and provide 75 total kits for programs in the Port St. Lucie area. This was the first event that I was able to experience donating an equipment grant in-person. Hearing kids exclaim ‘Is this mine?! Wow! This is so cool!’ was such a rewarding feeling. Seeing the smiles on their faces as they approached me saying ‘Thank you’ made every moment of my job worth it. I am hoping that we can return to some normalcy in 2021 and be able to help provide more memories like this to children in need. “

Kirsten Karbach, Director of Communications & Impact:

“Since joining the staff in March, my favorite part of the job has been seeing the impact stories that come in and really getting a sense of how these donations have a positive effect on kids’ lives. One of my favorites was from Freeport Area Softball. One of their catchers, Hannah, had a health issue that forced her to miss last softball season, which shook her confidence, and in the meantime she’d also outgrown her gear. The grant her league received allowed them to give her a new set of gear and glove, and that plus encouragement from her coaches and teammates helped get her confidence back. I think it shows how sports really help kids overcome the challenges in their lives.”

Jonathan Dressler, Director of Development:

“Being new to the organization, it was great to be a part of the Philadelphia Schools Drive-Through Equipment Distribution and interact with the some of the people we directly support. All of the coaches that we met were incredibly grateful for the equipment they received for their players and made a point to mention the difference that it makes. Seeing this first hand brought our mission to life. “

Lauren Nagata, Office Assistant:

“Since joining the PIFBS team earlier this year, I’ve noticed that a big smile always appears on my face whenever the kids complete their equipment donation and/or fundraising project. With thoughtfulness, focus and determination, they keep hitting it out of the park – even in such challenging times. These kids reflect our future, and yes, the future looks quite bright indeed!”