It was easy to explain.
Farmington children living in foster homes often are looking for dependable connections. Connecting to a family is most important, but something fun would be connecting to a baseball team that makes him or her feel needed.
There is a boarding school deep in the most poverty-stricken reaches of the Navajo Nation where more than 100 young students are battling every day such threats as diabetes, suicide and depression. Various mentors and volunteers say that if we bring them any gloves, balls, bats and helmets we could spare, they would use them with these young teens and preteens to promote healthy outdoor sports activity not available to them now. Special Olympians want to play ball and feel just as normal as athletes without special needs. Yet, many in the Farmington area have a need other than just physically when they go out to play, and that need is simply to have a glove of their own.
"That's pretty cool," one of the firefighters said.
What's really cool is you all. Dozens of donated gloves, helmets, bats and hundreds of balls have filled bins and boxes at The Daily Times and at fire stations around the city. Farmington police officers also are involved, as donations may be made to any officer.
It's all part of the Glove with Love program, which aims to help children who can't get a glove on their own, Special Olympians, and certain nonprofits that need the help in keeping children and sometimes adults out of trouble and in something fun.
So far this spring, we have provided gloves to recipients from Bloomfield to Shiprock. We have a goal of giving at least 50 adult-size gloves to the Farmington Special Olympics program in time for the June games, and we do hope to fill the special request for the boarding school deep in Navajo land.
Farmington youth coaches and social workers who learn of needs are eligible for donations to help their youngsters. We control the donations by working only with coaches, social workers or other volunteers known to be involved and trusted for their work.
You may have read last week about the generous time and interest donated by country music superstar Gretchen Wilson, who performed in Shiprock on March 23. She endorsed the program by presenting two local children donated gloves, and she signed other items that later will be auctioned for money to buy new gloves.
The Phil!'s Mark Amo is helping to promote the program, and anyone who brings and donates a glove for the next big event there will get a $5 discount off their ticket price. Neal McCoy will be in concert on April 8, and already McCoy has agreed to join the effort by endorsing Glove with Love during a special promotion around 11:30 a.m. Friday at AutoMax in Farmington.
Also, deals still exist at two local sporting good stores. If you donate an old glove during the purchase of a new one, you can get a 15 percent discount at Zia Sporting Goods, and a special Internet-listing discount at Big 5 Sporting Goods.
So, got an old baseball glove sitting in the garage or closet?
Want to buy one for some young lady or fellow who has never had one that fits?
Share it with us at The Daily Times at 201 N. Allen next to the Civic Center, with any Farmington police officer you see, or at any Farmington fire station, and we'll put it on an open hand for you.
You spell glove with l-o-v-e; feel free to share it.
Thanks folks. You're wonderful givers.
Troy Turner is the editor of The Daily Times. He can be contacted at P.O. Box 450, Farmington, NM 87499; or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.