BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' holiday spirit started in earnest last month, as the organization's employees gathered to participate in the Maryland Food Bank's Third Annual Elect to End Hunger packing event, on Oct. 27 at the Food Bank's headquarters in Baltimore.
Members of the O's staff packed meal boxes that will be distributed to families in need during the holiday season. Their efforts were made in conjunction with the organization's $10,000 donation for turkeys that will be provided for the season food drive.
Requests have grown from 4,800 turkeys and holiday boxes in 2009 to a staggering 9,600 in '11. The Elect to End Hunter initiative is also an opportunity to draw attention to the issue of hunger and advocate for hunger relief. The Orioles are a presenting sponsor of the initiative, which presents free food to the area's hungry in an effort to improve the lives of Marylanders in the community.
In addition to the club's efforts, several of their affiliates are involved in charitable holiday efforts. The Double-A Bowie Baysox will again run Louie's Holiday Hope Project for local families in need. The program began in 2007 and assisted 20 families with 60 children last year.
To ensure that the program reaches as many families as possible, the Baysox welcome help from their fans. Fans can nominate families that need assistance by e-mailing the Baysox mascot, Louie, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should include the family's name, situation and a daytime phone number. The team will not be able to help everyone who is nominated, but will consider multiple options to help several families. Entries must be received by Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. ET.
If fans would like to make a monetary donation to the project, they can participate in a raffle on www.baysoxshop.com. For each $10 donation fans make through the raffle, they earn a chance to win a free skybox rental valued at $475 or a personalized Baysox jersey valued at $150. Raffle submissions must be received by Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. If fans would like to donate toys or warm clothes to the program, they can drop them off at Prince George's Stadium during business hours.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.