Presbyterians to combat hunger with every home run by Pirates
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While the Pirates' new success is raising summertime spirits in Pittsburgh, it will also help to fight hunger through a campaign organized by Pittsburgh Presbytery and Presbyterian Media Mission.
For every Pirate home run through the end of this season, congregations in Pittsburgh Presbytery are pledging to donate $100 to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The program launches at tonight's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, which happens to be Pittsburgh Presbytery Night at PNC Park.
"There is momentum that has built with the Pirates this year in terms of civic spirit, and we want to build on that momentum," said the Rev. Sheldon Sorge, pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery. "We not only want to celebrate but to do it in a way that benefits the community."
Five congregations had signed on as Home Runs for Hunger prepared for launch Thursday. They place an upper limit on how much they are willing to raise, so not all participating congregations will contribute for each home run. One congregation, for instance, has offered $500 for five home runs.
Last year, the Pirates had 60 home runs in the second half of the season, so the organizers hope the campaign will raise at least $6,000.
"The idea is to make it affordable, so that almost any size church can do it," said Gregg Hartung, executive director of Pittsburgh-based Presbyterian Media Mission, which coordinated with Pirates Charities to organize the campaign.
Although it is fairly common for businesses to pledge to charity for home runs, Mr. Hartung said he and the Pirates were unaware of any other nonprofit organization that had done so.
A website, www.homerunsforhunger.com, has been created along with a Facebook page. Home Runs for Hunger will be promoted in radio spots and in the Pirates' program, First Pitch. Churches from other traditions are welcome to pledge.
First Published July 22, 2011 12:00 am