As the players return to the diamond for baseball season, we remember pitching great Juan Marichal and his contributions to grassroots development in his home country, the Dominican Republic.
In 1984 Dominican architects educators, physicians and lawyers founded IAF grantee partner alum Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral (IDDI) as a human service organization. IDDI's purpose was to promote participatory community development. Since then, IDDI has helped hundreds of community groups in the Dominican Republic’s poorest barrios. The organization helps residents carry out projects to improve non-formal education, housing, preventative health, sanitation and microenterprise development.
As a way to supplement its IAF grant, IDDI sought out Dominican baseball players as “goodwill ambassadors” who lent their names, time and support during fundraising events. In the early 1990s, Marichal led the effort to recruit players and personally donated over $15,000. He certainly "pitched in" to help create a culture of giving!