Photo by Andres Acosta – El Paso Herald Post
The El Paso Chihuahuas are the winners of Minor League Baseball’s Best Community Promotion or Event Golden Bobblehead for the non-profit service of the Chihuahuas Volunteer Pack presented by Helen of Troy, as announced Wednesday during the virtual Innovators Summit.
The Golden Bobblehead is awarded to the club that hosts the best charitable or community-related program, event or in-game promotion.
In July of this year, and in the year of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Chihuahuas and El Paso Locomotive FC made a commitment to provide their respective expertise in areas of marketing, promotion, development, operations and general administration to the non-profit sector which has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the first Golden Bobblehead for the Chihuahuas who have been nominated in different categories since the inaugural 2014 campaign for best promotions, events, and campaigns: Bark at the Park (2014), Chihuahuas Volunteer Pack presented by Helen of Troy (2015), and the Team Smile Event (2019).
“I am so incredibly proud to have owners that encourage and expect our staff to be servant leaders and I am equally proud of our staff that always steps up to help our community,” said MountainStar Sports Group Sr. Vice President and Chihuahuas General Manager Brad Taylor. “Their determination to give, their selflessness and their positive attitude are what makes them a truly special group.”
The staffs of both teams began working as part of the Chihuahuas Volunteer Pack and Locomotive Heart of Goal programs, both of which are presented by Helen of Troy. “The Pack” and Heart of Goal are El Paso-wide volunteer forces created to give back to the Sun City and surrounding region.
Joining with non-profit organizations and community partners, the two volunteer groups are made up of Chihuahuas and Locomotive staff, fans, players, and coaches with the mission of making a positive impact in our community. Since launching the non-profit (NPO) program in July, the staffs have completed more than 1,100 of service significantly increasing their community engagement that usually takes a year to accomplish.
The Chihuahuas and Locomotive have always had a commitment to community. Since 2013, the year the Chihuahuas name was announced, the front office staff has combined for more than 750 hours annually with the Locomotive adding to the total since 2018.
More than 50 front office staff members have contributed to the NPO project with some averaging 10 or more hours of service a week. This includes Locomotive staff who were preparing to host fans at Southwest University Park and the Chihuahuas who are starting to prepare for the 2021 campaign.
One organization that has benefited from the NPO project is the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless, a non-profit corporation that serves as a coordinating entity for agencies and individuals who provide housing, services, and support to the homeless.
“My agency and the veterans have been extremely blessed by your volunteers,” said Ashley Lemell, resource facilitator for the coalition. “Before your volunteers came along, it was extremely difficult to have committed volunteers weekly, and sometimes I would deliver 10 food boxes by myself. My heart, body, and my car all say “THANK YOU!!
Since July 17, 2020, because of the volunteers like Chihuahuas Manager of Facilities, Michael Raymundo, a veteran and former Marine, the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless has been able to deliver food to the doorstep of approximately 28 unique veterans weekly. Without volunteers like Raymundo, formerly homeless veterans would be putting their health at risk by relying on public transportation to get to grocery stores.
Lemell said, “Thank you El Paso Chihuahuas and the El Paso Locomotive for treating our El Paso veterans with dignity, respect, and service thus demonstrating what “El Paso Strong” really means!”
The Border Regional Advisory Council (BorderRAC), an organization that implements an inclusive emergency health system in the Southwest Region, has also benefited from the Chihuahuas and Locomotive non-profit program. With the COVID-19 pandemic, BorderRAC has helped provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to area health facilities in an effort to maintain a safe and healthy environment for patients.
The Chihuahuas and Locomotive staffs have accumulated more than 90 hours of service in inventorying, preparing and delivering PPEs to healthcare facilities around the region with 12 volunteers assisting the organization.
“The volunteer assistance provided by the EP Chihuahuas has greatly enhanced BorderRAC’s ability to quickly prepare and distribute large quantities of personal protective equipment to local healthcare facilities, where it is most needed, to care for the citizens of our community,” said council member Bryan Olson. “The support they provide is definitely appreciated.”
Other organizations that have benefited from the volunteer program include: Boys and Girls Clubs of El Paso, Creative Kids, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, Mission Continues, and Salvation Army to name a few.
Apart from the Chihuahuas Volunteer Pack and Locomotive Heart of Goal, presented by Helen of Troy, members of each of the front offices have also contributed more than 200 hours on Career Day appearances, and Chico has also committed to serving the community raising more than $10,000 for the MountainStar Sports Group Foundation in community, birthday and graduation parades. And recently, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank received a CommUNITY grant from Minor League Baseball Charities.
Non-profit organizations interested in having a Chihuahuas or Locomotive staff member assist your non-profit organization, or to become a Volunteer Pack member, CLICK HERE. Organizations must be registered as a 501(c)(3).