SUGAR LAND, Texas - The Sugar Land Skeeters raised money to help a homeless shelter crowded with need, especially for children.
Trishten Mcafee, 12, embraced his chance to see his first professional baseball game at field level after throwing first pitch.
“I throw hard like LeBron James and James Harden thrown together hard,” he said.
Mcafee sounded ready. However, he still felt nervous knowing that his future, in part, hung on each Skeeters at-bat. Every home run hit on Friday’s “Night of Hope” earned $500 donations from the American Business Machine company, which sponsored the event. The money went to Star of Hope’s shelter where Mcafee and his mom have lived for a year and a half.
“Me and my mom (have) been going through it a lot,” Mcafee said. “But my mom still stays strong, and we’re in the shelter. We’re trying to build up and to get our own apartment.”
The percentage of children enrolled in school sleeping in cars, tents, parks, abandoned buildings and motels rose three years in a row, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics. Meanwhile, those numbers for the entire country remained flat.
Researchers told KHOU 11 News children in Texas are simply finding it cheap to pool their money and share rooms or tents to escape troubled foster or family relationships.
The Houston/Harris County Coalition for the Homeless, which does not track the number of children living in motels, said most of its unsheltered children found homes between 2014 and 2015 through The Way Home housing program.
“We can control our fate as a country if we recognize what’s in front of us,” said Charles Brogna, founder and president of ABM.
Brogna’s company raised $10,000 for Star of Hope during a game last year. They expect more this season.
“Wow,” Mcafee said. “That’s awesome.”
Mcafee more than hopes the fundraiser helps his family. He knows it will.
“It means everything,” he said.