One of the important projects the Oriole Advocates have undertaken is the Cardboard to Leather programTM(affectionately called C2LTM),
whereby good, used baseball and softball equipment is provided to underprivileged
youth in developing countries. Collected equipment has been distributed in Afghanistan, Aruba, Belgrade, Belize, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. In 2008 Melvin Mora, then the Orioles' third baseman, served as spokesperson for C2LTM and, in conjunction with the Melvin Mora Foundation, the Oriole Advocates shipped thousands of pieces of equipment to Venezuela in 2009.
The Cardboard to LeatherTMprogram
was inspired by an article by Baltimore Sun sportswriter John Eisenberg
that appeared in The Baltimore Sun in 1992. Eisenberg traveled to the
Dominican Republic on an unrelated assignment, and while there he observed
kids playing baseball with makeshift equipment: tree limbs for bats
and cardboard wrapped with tape for gloves. He decided to write about
what he saw. After reading Eisenberg's article, the Oriole Advocates
decided to do something to get decent equipment to the kids.
the program started, the Oriole Advocates have distributed over 80 tons
of equipment. Little Leagues, local recreation departments, individual
baseball fans, and various other groups donate equipment throughout the
year, in addition to the collections held at Camden Yards and other
baseball stadiums. The gear is distributed, based on the greatest
need, to schools, orphanages, community groups, and hospitals. The
material is owned by the group, not distributed to individuals; that
way, the equipment can be shared, and more kids get an opportunity to
Financial donations, annual raffles, and silent auctions held throughout the year help defray the costs of storage and shipment of the collected equipment.
In summer 2008 C2LTMwelcomed Legg Mason as a sponsor. This fine corporation provided the C2LTM program with a generous grant that went a long way toward helping ship donated equipment to deserving children.Additionally, Legg Mason collect C2LTM donations from its workforce and its personnel help the Advocates with their C2LTM collections at Camden Yards.
Major League Baseball's Baseball Tomorrow Fund also has provided support to C2LTMfor the last several years, contributing to the Oriole Advocates ability to maintain this great programyear after year.
The C2LTM program is appreciative to have partnerships with the following:
Runners Inc. has, for many years now,been very generous and accommodating with donating storage space for collectedequipment. This generosity has allowed theC2LTTM program to be able to accept all donations.
The young men and women of the Freestate Challenge Academyassist theC2LTM program each year with the inventorying and packing of equipment for shipment. This is a lot of work!Not only must the equipment be packed, but all equipment must be counted and the contents of each box must be clearly identified to pass a customs inspection. The Academy is a tuition-free program which offers at-risk adolescents, 16 to 18 years old, an opportunity to change their future in many ways, culminating with the opportunity to obtain a Maryland High School Diploma. The Academy is endorsed by the State of Maryland and is in a cooperative agreement between with the Maryland National Guard and the National Guard Bureau.
Baseball And Sofball Essential Skills (BASES) Training Facility and the Harford Sandlot Academy are local area collection points for the C2LTM annual campaign. The mission of these facilities is to provide high-quality individualized training for local athletes that will help them grow to be productive members of the community and to be successful in life. Skills training specific to their sport and the atmosphere in which that training is administered is the key to the success of these facilities.
Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) - Catonsville Campus baseball program has collected equipment for C2LTM since 2007. (See the photo album of the 2008 C2LTM program distribution in Nicaragua to see some donated CCBC Cardinals uniforms!) CCBC Catonsville also hosts several weekends of high school baseball during the fall where equipment is collected.
The Oriole Advocates are thrilled and proud to be associated with and look forward to continuing our association with all our sponsors and partners!
In 2008 and 2009, C2LTM shipped equipment to Nicaragua. The shipments included thousands of bats, baseballs, gloves, helmets, uniform shirts, uniform pants, hats, catcher's sets, along with bases, pitcher's rubbers, trophies, shin guards, umpire equipment, an other miscellaneous equipment. C2LTM Committee Chairman, Bob Harden, and his wife Shirley, representing the Oriole Advocates, had the pleasure of traveling to Nicaragua to oversee the distribution of the equipment. In 2009, a representative from Legg Mason joined Bob and Shirley to help with the distribution. The equipment was divided, based on need, among over 90 little league teams. Both distributions were held primarily in rural areas in central and northern Nicaragua and directly benefited over 7,000 children, ranging in age from 6 to 18. The Oriole Advocates extend their gratitude to Alex Torres, who sorted the equipment, arranged all the distributions and was a gracious host to the Oriole Advocates and Legg Mason representatives.
On both occasions, the distributions were accompanied by ceremonies at baseball fields with bleachers filled with children and parents; local mayors and government officials all took part in the ceremonies. In some places, fields were cleared and turned into baseball diamonds as a direct result of receiving a distribution of equipment! The smiles on the children's faces and the warm gratitude of the adults and children alike were overwhelming and certainly validated the efforts of the Oriole Advocates, the C2LTM program, and everyone who donated equipment, time, or money to the program. An article about the 2008 distributions in Nicaragua appeared on MLB.com. Additionally, in July 2008 Orioles Magazine featured an article about C2LTM that also mentioned the distributions in Nicaragua.
To see a photo album of the 2008 distributions, click here. To see a photo album of the 2009 distributions, click here.
The 2009 Venezuela shipment was distributed by the Melvin Mora Foundation and benefited over 2,000 children, 800 of who were little girls. Melvin and his foundation members, representing the Orioles and the Oriole Advocates, met the shipment and distributed the equipment to the various little league teams.
January 12th 2012 - MASN Sports featured the C2LTM program with Oriole Advocate President Jim Menendez & C2LTM program Chair Denis Kail. To read the article click here.
In November 2008, Major League Baseball's (MLB) Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) published an article reviewing the 2008 BTF/MLB Equipment Day collections. The article specifically highlighted the exceptional collection done by the Oriole Advocates:
One of the most impressive showings was, for the second straight year, the Orioles. Baltimore fans came out in droves and donated approximately 8,500 items and over $6,000 to benefit the Oriole Advocates. These collection results are a true testament to the growth of the Equipment Day initiative. In 2005, the combined total for all of the participating clubs was 4,374 items. Now, just three seasons later, the Orioles almost single-handedly doubled that total.
The Summer 2007 edition of Messenger Courier World magazine -- the official magazine of the Messenger Courier Association of the Americas (MCAA), of which Runners Inc. is a member -- spotlighted a member of the Oriole Advocates for his contribution to C2LTM.Click here to read the article.
The C2LTM program continues to benefit from Maryland youths, who hold collections in conjunction with their Bar Mitzvah or birthday, and Eagle Scouts working toward merit badges.
Print the file on the right to make your own C2LTM tri-fold flyer. In your Print Properties choose Landscape mode; under Print on Both Sides, choose Flip on Short Edge. Print then fold for your OACB tri-fold flyer!
If your printer does not offer the Print on Both Sides option, print the files on the right to make your own C2LTM tri-fold flyer. First, in landscape mode, print the file on the top right. Then, take that printout and put it back into the paper feeder so that you can print the second part of the flyer on the back of what you just printed. Position the part of the flyer with the C2LTM logo, picture of glove/bat/balls, and the Oriole Advocates logos so that it is closest to the paper feeder and face up. Then, print the file on the bottom right. Now, fold to make your own C2LTMtri-fold flyer!
To find out more information on donating equipment, you can contact
the Cardboard to LetherTM Committee
at C2L @ orioleadvocates.org or oadvocates @ orioleadvocates.org, or you can send mail to the postal address below:
Oriole Advocates Attn: Cardboard to LeatherTM Committee P.O. Box 2295 Baltimore, MD, 21203-2295
NOTE: Cardboard to LeatherTM
is a Trademark of The Oriole Advocates, Inc. Please contact The Oriole
Advocates for information on using the Cardboard to LeatherTM name.