Someone You Should Know: Helping people in Nicaragua

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 9:46 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - There’s something good happening on this farm near Flandreau.

“My life calling is taking care of poor people a long ways away,” said Craig Severtson.

Craig Severtson had that calling fourteen years ago.

“Well, I’d been to Nicaragua earlier in my life, for different reasons. Discovered two things. The poverty, and the love of baseball.. And that’s who we are with our family on on our farm. We’re a baseball family. When you see kids that don’t have gloves, that don’t have balls, but that want to play. That stuck with me a long time ago,” said Craig.

So Craig started collecting baseball and softball equipment. That was just a start.

“Started taking baseball equipment to Nicaragua. And that wasn’t enough. Not when the people don’t have enough to eat, and don’t have good medical care and housing. So it blossomed into many things across the board,” said Craig.

Twenty-thousand pounds of supplies in this warehouse, were recently shipped off.

“We’ll include a corn sheller. It will include some guitars. But then we also send medical equipment. Whole hospitals have donated to us before. We serve rural public hospitals in Nicaragua. We send hundreds of thousands of meals per year for poor families,” said Craig.

“He’s worked very hard at this. He’s got a lot of compassion, even in the community, let alone to what he’s showing in Nicaragua. And his family, it’s hard not come and help him,” said Dale Tjarks

“A lot of people make this happen. Thousands make this happen. With money and help. And we load the container out here with fork lifts.” said Craig.

But it all started with a love of a game.

“Seventy universities and colleges now donate. Softball and baseball teams, amateur teams. And every closet in South Dakota, if your kids played growing up, there’s bats, there’s balls,” said Craig.

Craig formed the non profit, Helping Kids Round First. And Major League Baseball noticed. They partners with them.

“We’ve got a thousand new pair of Under Armour baseball spikes. This next week we have thousands of hats, thousands of uniforms coming with MLB emblems,” said Craig.

All is which helping kids, with dreams in Nicaragua.

“We have a baseball academy there that we’ve so far signed seven 16-year old prospects to Major League contracts,” said Craig.

Recently, a Nicaraguan team qualified for MLB’s RBI World Series in Florida.

“And we made it to the semifinals. There were eight teams in the U.S. We won our pool. We lost 7-5 to the Chicago White Sox affiliate. Who were twice as big as our kids. But we got ballplayers,” said Craig.

That benefit, from whats happening on a farm, thousands of miles away.