The California wildfires have left entire communities completely decimated. The news of the lives lost and images of charred rubble where family homes once stood are devastating. When a story of hope and love emerges from the ashes, it captures our attention. This is one of those stories.
Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to dust with only chimneys still standing. This kind of loss is especially difficult for children to process, when their home vanishes in an instant — with it goes their sense of place, self, and safety. While everyone grapples with having to let go of their most beloved, irreplaceable objects, one child’s loss has turned into a story of humanity and community.
Standing amidst the rubble that was once his neighborhood, Loren’s spirit and love of the ballgame is both endearing and heart-wrenching. A little boy should never have to see his world destroyed like this. Loren lost everything in the fire, including his much-loved collection of baseball memorabilia. He wrote a letter to his favorite team.
Loren writes, “I played baseball in my backyard all day loving the A’s and making up my own game. In my backyard they won six World Series in a row. But my house burned down in the Santa Rosa fire and my saddest things were my baseball collection cards, my 17 jerseys and 10 hats and my baseball from the game and also a ball signed by the whole team and Rickey Henderson and Bob Melvin…I am 9-years-old and I had a major league baseball and it all burned up.”
The response to his letter, and the effort by so many strangers to make his world right again, just might restore your faith in the world.
A’s president Dave Kaval said, “This is so touching. So sad to hear about their loss. We would be happy to completely outfit the family in new Athletics gear.” They’re doing that —and more. By setting up a mailing address where others can donate baseball memorabilia, they’re about to blow young Loren’s mind.
There are baseball fans and BASEBALL FANS. Those who fall into the latter category understand the magnitude of this loss for a young boy. And they were willing to reach into their own collections to help. If you’re not tearing up yet, there’s more…
The generosity of strangers from across the country has been truly touching. Thousands of people have responded and shared the original tweet. But it wasn’t just baseball fans responding.
And they are not going to let him down! While the A’s are his favorite team, the love of the game is love of the game, and many other MLB squads are showing up for Loren. This is what it’s all about, people!
The response to this from individuals and pro teams has truly been incredible. It shows that everyone wants to help — we just need to know how. Loren’s love of baseball and tragic loss is so wholesome, compelling, and full of Americana that it galvanized people to action.
The Mariners, Cubs, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Padres, Marlins, Giants … the list goes on and on. Loren’s baseball memorabilia collection is easily going to be among the best ever.
A catastrophic event like these fires can make us feel helpless, so an opportunity to help one little boy is a gift to all of us. People are jumping at the chance to fill Loren’s world with love, and it’s amazing to watch. At times like this, we all need a story that shows us our shared humanity.