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Press Release

01/28/2009 11:06 AM ET
Major League Baseball players pledge $1 million to Haiti relief and recovery efforts
Players Trust launches long-term commitment with $100,000 grants to Esperanza International and Medicines for Humanity

NEW YORK -- “On behalf of all Major League baseball players, it’s an honor to pledge our long-term support to the people of Haiti,” said MLBPA Association Representative and Players Trust Trustee, Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees. “Haiti faces a long road to recovery and we want to do our part to support the humanitarian efforts of those non-profits committed to this cause.”

”For many years I have seen firsthand the commitment of the Players Trust to make a difference in the lives of the poor. Esperanza is honored to serve alongside Major League baseball players in this Herculean effort of assisting those in great need in Haiti,” stated David Valle, President, Esperanza International.

“For almost a decade, the Players Trust has been at our side helping to save the lives of vulnerable children,” said Tim Bilodeau, MFH Executive Director. “This gift, for the relief and restoration of Haiti, demonstrates the on-going commitment of Major League baseball players to reach out where help is needed most.”

Esperanza has been working in Haiti since 2005 and is leading a coordinated rapid response effort of over 150 local organizations, providing food packs, water, bedding and hygiene kits to thousands of families. They have established two medical clinics with two more online with over 80 doctors and nurses. In keeping with its mission to free children and their families from poverty through initiatives that generate income, education and health, Esperanza plans to help Haiti’s economic development efforts by growing their established microfinance program and providing housing and educational opportunities to the children. The Players Trust has collaborated with Esperanza since 2006, growing a microfinance program serving 35,000 women and families in the Dominican Republic. For more information, please visit esperanza.org

Medicines for Humanity (MFH) has worked to improve maternal and child health in Haiti for over eight years. MFH is currently supplying its Haitian healthcare partners with medicines and medical supplies so critically needed in the aftermath of this disaster. MFH is also supporting the work of a volunteer medical team that is seeing almost 300 patients each day. MFH will be actively involved in the efforts to rebuild maternal and child health services in Haiti. MFH has been a partner of the Players Trust since 2002 in providing lifesaving medicines and health services to people in the Dominican Republic. For more information, please visit medicinesforhumanity.org

On Friday, January 22, the MLBPA announced that it was joining the NFL Players Association, National Basketball Players Association and National Hockey League Players’ Association in the creation of the “ONE TEAM 4 HAITI” campaign to support the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s focus on the country’s earthquake relief and recovery efforts. The campaign launched with a text message fund-raising effort supporting the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. In the U.S., supporters can text the word “TEAM” to 20222 to donate $10. Canadian supporters can text the word “TEAM” to 20222 to donate $5. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised by the texting campaign will go directly to relief efforts.

The “ONE TEAM 4 HAITI” campaign will also promote relief efforts in Haiti by airing public service announcements featuring professional athletes from all four major sports. St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman, Albert Pujols, 2009 National League MVP, and San Francisco Giants pitcher, Tim Lincecum, 2009 National League Cy Young Award winner, have recorded the PSA on behalf of the MLBPA.

Today’s pledge matches the largest financial contribution ever made by the Players Trust, the charitable foundation of all Major League baseball players. In 2005, in a demonstration of their commitment to rebuilding the Gulf region following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Major League Baseball Players Trust presented a gift of one million dollars to launch the Volunteers of America Rental Housing Development Fund. That contribution, along with contributions from other organizations, was used to develop affordable rental housing in the Gulf Coast region.

About the Major League Baseball Players Trust

The members of the Major League Baseball Players Association created the Players Trust, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, to provide resources of caring to those in need by volunteering in causes close to their hearts and encouraging others to do the same. The foundation became the first of its kind in professional sports established and administered by the players. For additional information, please visit MLBPLAYERS.com and visit the Players Trust channe on YouTube.