SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Brand new baseball gloves, t-shirts, shoes and more filled this table at Genetti Inn and Suites in Williamsport. The little league team from San Antonio, Texas and the staff at Genetti’s spent an entire morning putting it all in duffel bags to give to their new friends from Uganda.
“We decided as a group that it would be great if we could add to that and give them something to take back and spread the wealth in their community. As a group we decided to get some stuff together and give them a nice little carry-on to take home,” said Josh Vitt, a southwest parent.
The Ugandans came to the Little League World Series with nothing except for the clothes on their backs. The team from Texas packed the stuff in these bags so they can carry it with them on the plane ride home.
The teams are separated by thousands of miles. But the boys from Texas and Uganda bonded over baseball and became friends immediately.
“We play games with them and stuff and they’re just really fun to talk to,” said Sammy Serchay, a member of the southwest team.
After the southwest team stuffed the duffel bags, it was time to surprise their new friends with the gifts.
“The first time these kids will have their own gloves thanks to the texas area. That is a wonderful thing. They will go there with all kinds of stuff that they have received here. That will spread all over Africa,” said Robert Stanley, U.S. Coordinator for Uganda Baseball.
The team from Uganda already has proven to be one of the best little league teams in the world. The southwest team hopes this new equipment will help them become even better.
“I think everyone in Uganda is going to want to come here when they hear the stories about how much fun the kids had and what they experienced. I would expect little league is going to explode out there and I hope we’re helping to do that,” said Neal Scarborough, a southwest parent.
“There are very few kids that have equipment, so just giving them the equipment to play and giving them the opportunity to play is really a special thing,” said Kevin Fleisher, another member of the southwest team.