Danilo Finds Peace in Chaos and Tragedy, Thanks to You

12/17/12

Danilo never knew his father.  He abandoned the family when Danilo, now 15, was just a baby.  Danilo and his three older sisters were raised by their mother, who sold charcoal on the streets to support them.  Her earnings were never quite enough to feed the whole family, and the children often went to bed hungry. 

 
Frustrated by his situation, and taking cues from life in the slums of Barahona, Dominican Republic, Danilo developed a strong temper, and was known for his aggression.  This anger took over his life.  "My life was not good," he says, "because I was very aggressive.  I didn't have peace." 
 
When Danilo was invited to join Children of the Nations' I Love Baseball (ILB) program last year, the direction of his life changed, thanks to partners like you.  His anger did not go away overnight—in fact ILB's director, Ruddy Suero, recalls many difficult confrontations with Danilo.  But as Danilo learned about his great and loving Father in heaven, he began to change.  
 
"Now, I am different," he says.  "My behavior is better, I have a place to eat, I am learning about God."  A big part of this change came from having a purpose and direction to his life, thanks to the baseball training and education that sponsors and partners like you help provide.  "I have a place to do good things for my future," Danilo explains.  
 
Just last month, Danilo's already difficult life got even harder.  His mother came down with a severe case of pneumonia, and didn't recover.  Without people like you, who helped provide the support and direction Danilo needed to change, this time would have been even more difficult for him.  
 
Danilo has remained focused on his baseball training during these trials.  He hopes to someday become a professional player, and then a coach, so he can help young boys in need—like he used to be.  He does everything he can to help his older sisters make ends meet. After practice, he works at a little stand on the street, selling small things to earn extra money.  
 
In addition to his baseball training, Danilo is attending school in the evenings, and learning the value of a good education.  "Before, school didn't make sense to me, because I didn't know how important it is," he says.  Today, he knows that if he doesn't make it as a professional baseball player, he'll be able to continue his education and begin a different career—so he can continue helping his sisters, and support a family of his own one day. 
 
Change a child's life today: sponsor a child or support education and training for young men like Danilo through the ILB program.