Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) today announced a $3 million commitment to the “Healthy Relationships Community Grant,” a joint initiative to provide funding in 2020 and 2021 to organizations that advocate for positive relationship practices through critical services for vulnerable populations and those affected by domestic violence, including relationship management skills for the next generation, programs focused on mental health resiliency among vulnerable populations, and critical career & personal services to survivors of domestic violence.
U.S.-based nonprofit and global non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can apply for localized support at MLB.com/HealthyRelationships and MLBPLAYERS.com/HealthyRelationships throughout the year, with proposals reviewed on a quarterly grant cycle. Nonprofits and NGOs may apply for grants of up to $50,000 for general operating or programmatic funding for one or more of the following categories: Healthy Relationship Practices/Education, Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence, and/or Mental Health Resiliency. Grant applications will be evaluated quarterly based on assessment of the population served, organization strength, impact, partnerships, sustainability of the programs, and more. Additionally, MLB Club charities and Major League Players are encouraged to apply for up to $25,000 as part of a gift matching component of the initiative, with grant evaluations based on documentation of direct funding and commitment to the issue.
“This program will support deserving organizations working to build and improve the mental health resiliency and relationship skills of those they serve, with a particular focus on youth, and to provide critical services to help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives,” said Melanie LeGrande, Vice President of Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball. “This effort reflects Baseball’s desire to invest in strategies that can help change the statistics and norms around domestic violence as well as support those who need help and assistance today.”
“Our players are committed to supporting and promoting healthy relationships,” said Leonor Colón, the MLBPA’s Senior Director of International and Domestic Player Operations. “This initiative will allow us to support organizations that raise awareness of domestic violence, assist survivors and promote mental wellness.”
Empowering the next generation to understand the components of a healthy relationship is intended as a prevention strategy through this initiative. Organizational efforts supported by grant funding may include public education, with a preference for youth populations, on the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships as it relates to interpersonal violence (e.g., intimate partner, family or teen dating). Examples of education efforts include creating, producing & distributing public service announcements with relevant content and call to action as well as conferences or events focusing on awareness. Funding can also go toward supporting existing, or introducing new, programming on how to break the cycle of violence.
Efforts toward building and improving mental health resiliency for vulnerable populations may include providing greater access to (a) quality mental health services and wellness programs; (b) preventative programs designed to reduce suicide, suicidal ideations and self-harm; (c) training programs for mental health professionals; or (d) school or community-based interventions.
Strengthening and providing services to survivors of domestic violence is of critical importance to this grant initiative. Efforts may include (a) capacity building in support of the organizational mission of the nonprofit or NGO; (b) mental health support; (c) professional and life skills workshops as well as additional education and materials to improve employee readiness and workplace development; or (d) advocacy efforts to reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The joint donation for the “Healthy Relationships Community Grant” represents an ongoing commitment by MLB and the MLBPA to provide support to causes that assist vulnerable populations, which has historically included financial assistance toward disaster relief and recovery as well as human trafficking prevention.
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Steve Arocho or Kerline Batista, Major League Baseball
Anthony Solis, Major League Baseball Players Association