Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) have selected 10 nonprofits across the nation for its new grant to teach children how to develop healthy relationships, support survivors of domestic violence and build mental health resiliency. HomeFront, based in Lawrenceville, N.J., was among them.
“Players remain committed to supporting and promoting healthy relationships, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Leonor Colon, senior director, international and domestic player operations.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to assist these extraordinary organizations doing critical work to support vulnerable communities, especially in this time of crisis,” said Melanie LeGrande, vice president of social responsibility, Major League Baseball.
This initiative is intended as a prevention strategy to empower the next generation to understand the components of a healthy relationship.
“HomeFront will use the $50,000 grant on programming and staff training to help the over 400 local children we serve develop social-emotional resiliency” said Chris Marchetti, director of HomeFront’s Joy, Hopes and Dreams children’s program. “This is a basic life skill needed for healthy relationships in general.”
HomeFront hosts a variety of programs for local children who are homeless or at risk: Its Children’s Champion Program provides early interventions for those living at the agency’s Family Campus, a temporary shelter for 38 local homeless families. HomeFront’s Atkinson Child Development Center provides local families in need with high quality, trauma-informed care preschool and day care. Its Joy, Hopes and Dreams children’s program provides school-age children year-round, six days a week with new experiences, life skills, tutoring, and nurturing that is essential for a healthy future. And each summer, HomeFront runs an educationally enriched summer camp.
“I’m thrilled” says HomeFront’s founder, an avid baseball fan herself, “that HomeFront is being recognized on a national stage by MLB and MLBPA for the work we are doing to improve the quality of relationships in our community. We know having a place to call home only feels right if you feel safe and happy while you’re there.”