Texas Rangers slugger Nomar Mazara will step away from the field on August 17 to host a shoe drive in Dallas for needy kids in his hometown, and there's extra incentive for the public to participate.
Mazara and The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation are teaming up with nonprofit Buckner International, through its Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls initiative, to provide new athletic shoes to at-risk children in Mazara's hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Shoes also will be distributed in La Vega, Dominican Republic, the hometown of Nashville Sounds player Ronald Guzman.
As extra incentive to donate, fans who bring one or more new pairs of athletic shoes will get to meet Mazara and shake his hand. It all happens at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, 2303 Bickers St., Dallas, from noon to 1 pm on Saturday, August 17.
“Nomar has a big heart, so we weren’t surprised when he came to us asking for help collecting shoes for children in his hometown in the Dominican Republic,” says Texas Rangers Chief Operating Officer Neil Leibman. “Due to our relationship with Buckner International, we knew they were the perfect ones to help facilitate this.”
The one big rule to follow is that all donated shoes must be new. The greatest need, the organization says, is for new athletic shoes, sizes Youth 4 to Adult 9.
Cash donations are also accepted, they emphasize, and will help purchase additional shoes as well as cover distribution costs.
The drive is part of Buckner's ongoing efforts to provide new shoes and socks to orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and throughout the world. Since 1999, Buckner Shoes has collected and distributed nearly 4 million pairs of new shoes, serving children in more than 80 countries, the organization says.
“It was exciting to have Nomar Mazara and the Rangers reach out to us about putting together a shoe drive for kids in the Dominican Republic," says Rachel Wallis, the director of Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls. "Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls has a long history of serving vulnerable children in the DR, as well as other countries with children in need, including right here in Texas. I hope Rangers fans all over Dallas will feel the call to serve in their hearts and come out to support Nomar’s efforts to give back to his hometown.”