Contributed by Lucille Martir-Hoffman, Assistant Principal at Patchogue-Medford High School.
Assistant Principal and Gay Straight Alliance Co-Advisor Lucille Martir-Hoffman participated with the Field of Hopes Organization and Manhattan Youth Baseball relief effort to visit the Centro Educativo Barrio Blanco School in San Pedro, Dominican Republic on Nov. 25.
In the Dominican Republic children only get to go to school for four hours each day, the morning session is from 8 a.m. to noon and then an afternoon session from noon to 4 p.m.
A total of 600 children attend the school, 300 per session. Mrs. Martir-Hoffman visited, talked and participated with the children in the K-8th grade/morning session.
The photos taken were during the time our group gave out school supplies and gently used baseball equipment we brought for distribution, Patchogue-Medford High School Gay Straight Alliance had contributed to this effort.
The group had enough supplies for every child to receive a note book, pen, pencil, and a ruler. General art supplies were also donated to the school. Sports equipment was not our primary purpose but what we collected was also given to the school who then acknowledged that they do not have physical education but would in turn give the donated balls and other equipment to local soccer and baseball teams.
The group traveling with Mrs. Martir-Hoffman then toured the neighborhood where these children live. We were excited and trilled to have in our group, Steve Winter, an award winning photographer from National Geographic and Environmental Journalist Sharon Guynup, who has the Smithsonian cover story this month, who chronicled our trip. They photographed irregardless of advice from the local authorities and entered the neighborhood where these children live to bring attention to the dire conditions these children need to over come.
Mrs. Martir-Hoffman will continue to participate in this relief effort every year for the Thanksgiving Holiday. This is a way to give back in spirit during the holiday season. Please feel free to contribute to this relief effort by sending donations to Manhattan Youth Baseball attn: Field of Hopes (www.manhattanyouthbaseball.com).