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updated: 5/16/2013 7:04 PM

Charities unite to bring physical education to youth organizations in Latin America

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  • Rafael Hernandez, Country Manager for Willow Creek's relief efforts in the Dominican Republic helps a young boy fit a baseball mitt provided by charity partner Gear for Goals.

    Rafael Hernandez, Country Manager for Willow Creek's relief efforts in the Dominican Republic helps a young boy fit a baseball mitt provided by charity partner Gear for Goals.
    Dreamweaver International

April Neill Public Relations

Armed with a vision to provide sports equipment and hope to underprivileged children around the world, Northbrook-based Gear for Goals (G4G) is joining like-minded ministries to combine resources and expertise to maximize efforts and increase their reach. One of their newest Compassion Partners is Gifts in Kind, a Compassion and Justice Ministry of Willow Creek Community Church who recently delivered sports equipment provided by G4G to promote physical education to youth organizations in the Dominican Republic.

Leading the ground efforts was Rafael Hernandez, Willow Creek's Country Manager for the Dominican Republic who recently delivered two huge suitcases filled with baseball gear to children in the DR. "The children were overjoyed to receive our kind gifts," stated Hernandez. "Once they started playing with the gear, the thought they were "pros" and they didn't want to stop."

Dominican children were using broomsticks and balls fashioned out of rolled up tape and with the donated gear, will be able to form teams and better develop their skills.

"We're honored to partner with Gifts in Kind to support their efforts to fight poverty," says Gear for Goals' Executive Director, Dr. Warren Bruhl. "Every baseball mitt, baseball, and bat that we can get into the hands of kids that have nothing brings us one step closer to fulfilling our mission to provide every child enjoyment, passion, and love of sport." "With this new partnership, we'll be able to reach more children and expand our global impact."

Plans are underway to ship a container full of close to a thousand bats, mitts, baseballs, uniforms and batting helmets in July to serve the poor of the DR and in total, G4G aims to provide equipment to over 10,000 children globally this year through their 10,000/$10,000 campaign.

"We're excited about our partnership with Gear for Goals," says Gifts in Kind Representative, Frank Davis. "The youth that we serve have virtually no physical education and with Gear for Goals' support, we'll be able to really make a difference."

According to Davis, sports equipment will give church partners the opportunity to get kids off the streets with after school programs offered through youth groups. "These kids have nowhere to go and nowhere to turn," says Davis. "Gear for Goals' will be bringing much needed donations that will bring substance to youth groups and give kids a sense of value and a connection to the church that could literally change the course of history for these people."

Gifts in Kind has established a highly defined distribution system by developing key relationships with people on the ground in the countries they serve that are able to access the needs of the people and get much needed donations into their hands quickly.

"The real heroes are our people on the ground," says Davis. "Our country managers are moving materials, furniture and church supplies in ways that we can't even imagine and it's through their relationships and their efforts that we're able to serve and develop these communities."

G4G currently ships to the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Russia, Philippines, Jamaica, India, and Cuba.

For more information about ways you can support G4G's 10,000/10,000 campaign, visit or contact Dr. Warren Bruhl at 312.869.2031.

About Gifts in Kind

Gifts in Kind is a program of Willow Creek Community Church. Their Mission: To procure and ship high valued materials that Church partners will use to develop their communities through Church, Business and/or Educational growth. For more information, visit

About Gear for Goals

Gear for Goals is a project of Dreamweaver International. Gear for Goals' Mission is to provide every child enjoyment, passion, and love of sport. Follow Gear for Goals on Facebook at

About Dreamweaver International

Dreamweaver International is a 501c(3) organization located in the United States that provides education, healthcare, and humanitarian aid to the people of the Rift Valley of Kenya. With the addition of partner program, Gear for Goals, Dreamweaver International's scope and outreach of humanitarian care continues to grow globally.