US Elite fundraiser is “other-centered”

On June 1st, US Elite players will kickoff an historic event. They will begin the first US Elite Baseball “Give Back” fundraiser designed to raise money for worthwhile causes. According to National Director, Mark Helsel, the fundraiser is an example of the organization’s desire to help others. “We talk a lot about development at US Elite, and I am sure many people think we are talking about baseball, and sometimes we are; however, many times we are talking about personal development, which to me, is about becoming a better person. This fundraiser is about giving back. It is about helping others less fortunate than we are. Our players are excited to raise money for worthwhile causes. Travel baseball has gotten a bit of a ‘black eye’ in the last couple of years because it can breed an entitlement attitude. Some players start thinking the world revolves around them because they are talented baseball players. We want to make sure at US Elite that we never think like that. We want to be an ‘other-centered’ organization.”

Prior to the fundraising kickoff, every player on each team is required to attend a team meeting and present a cause he wants to support. After all players make their presentations, the team takes a vote and decides on one cause to support. Helsel says that process alone is a great developmental experience. “Players have to give this some thought. They have to bring a cause to their team meeting and present it to their teammates. We actually document what cause they are presenting. That process alone raises the awareness of how many worthwhile causes there are to support. It also gives the players some presentation and public speaking experience, which I believe is a very good thing.” The majority of the money raised will be donated to each team’s cause in the name of their team.

Another portion of the money raised will go toward a scholarship fund at US Elite Baseball. US Elite Baseball will use the money to help families with financial challenges. “There are some really talented and deserving kids out there whose lives could be dramatically changed if they had the opportunity to play for US Elite Baseball. Unfortunately, many of them simply cannot afford the travel to get exposure to college coaches and pro scouts. We think we can help some kids like that with the new scholarship fund. For some kids, it literally could be the difference in getting a college degree or not. That is definitely life changing stuff,” said Helsel.

US Elite chose Vitality Fundraising from Mesa, AZ to manage their fundraiser. Vitality Fundraising promotes a healthy gift to incentivize support for the fundraiser. “It’s refreshingly different,” said Helsel. We looked at all the traditional fundraising ideas like popcorn, cookie dough, raffle tickets, pizza, etc. None of those excited me. The Shaker Cup and the five healthy products contained in the cup is novel. It is also much more in line with our core values at US Elite. We promote good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to our players and families already, so it fit perfectly with our culture. Players simply ask supporters for a $20 donation, and in return, the supporters get the Shaker Cup and the five healthy products. Helsel estimates that his organization will raise over $20,000 during the month-long campaign. If you would like to donate to the US Elite “Give Back” fundraiser, you can do so at select the US Elite Fundraiser by clicking on Active Fundraisers.