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IMPACT Baseball and Softball Ministries takes America’s favorite pastime on a mission

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By The Staff

IMPACT Baseball and Softball Ministries uses donated baseball and softball equipment to impact the world for Christ. The organization combines athletic and Christian principles to encourage positive youth development in areas of need.

Brian Miracle, East Tennessee native and Tennessee Wesleyan College baseball player, began IMPACT Ministries in July 2009 after returning from an international summer internship with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“The growing popularity of baseball and softball internationally is a great way to reach youth for Christ, if only they have the resources,” Miracle said.

During his internship, Miracle learned of the need for sports equipment and the opportunity athletics provide for ministry abroad. Miracle led sports ministry camps in Italy and worked with the 13 to 15 year-old national baseball team in Hungary. IMPACT now has plans to send donated equipment back to teams in Torre Pellice, Italy and Erd, Hungary. In addition, IMPACT donations will accompany mission teams to the Dominican Republic in March and the Bahamas later this summer.

IMPACT Baseball and Softball Ministries relies on partnership from teams, individuals, churches and businesses to further its mission. Carson-Newman College and Tennessee Wesleyan College teams have already donated baseball cleats, baseballs and catcher’s gear. Other collegiate teams — including Lincoln Memorial University, Bryan College and Lee University — have also pledged items at the end of the 2010 season. IMPACT accepts donations of new and gently-used fielding gloves, youth bats, umpire and catcher gear, baseballs, softballs, baseball cleats, youth uniforms, equipment bags, sets of bases, batting tees and pitching machines.

In addition, financial support is needed to cover shipping costs. By donating $30, individuals can currently sponsor a box with new cleats, baseball pants and a Spanish new testament for a child in the Dominican Republic.

For more information on how you can help IMPACT ministries and regular updates, visit http://impactbaseballandsoftballministries.sports.officelive.com.