Here is a link to the original story on the team's website.
Dayton, Ohio – The Dragons and Vectren will honor Olivia Velez during the unique “Community All-Stars” program on Tuesday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. when the Dayton Dragons take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Fifth Third Field.
The Dayton community is a great place to live, work and play. But what makes Dayton truly great are the people that call Dayton home. We have great people and great organizations in our community that do incredible things each and every day. Throughout the season, the Dragons and Vectren will honor five “All-Stars” with a special inning break tribute in recognition of their service.
Olivia’s Story: “Little Girl, Big Heart”
At the age of 5, Olivia Velez’s life flipped upside down. She was uprooted from her home and sent to live with her grandma, but these moments never stopped her caring soul. She told her grandma, Tina, that she wanted to help kids in similar or worse situations. After brainstorming, they started collecting get-well-cards to send to children. These cards were full of googly eyes, funny jokes, and encouragement. Though she already brought smiles to hundreds of kids’ faces, she realized she could do more.
At the age of 7, Olivia started “Project Local Hugs”- an organization that takes donated goods and delivers them to those in need. Olivia and her grandma started collecting purses and included items like hair brushes, hand sanitizer, body wash, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Once completed, these purses are given to the local Young Women’s Christian Associate for women who are seeking a safe shelter from domestic violence or drug abuse.
Continuing to grow their organization, Olivia started collecting backpacks full of notebooks, pens and crayons to deliver to kids in situations similar to what she experienced. “It makes me feel better that I’ve done something good” Olivia said. “We should always be kind and think about others.”
As a 10-year-old, Olivia recently won the Domestic Violence Prevention Project awarded Montgomery County, and continues to shine throughout the Dayton Community. To learn more about Project Local Hugs, you can visit www.facebook.com/projectlocalhugs
The Dragons Community All-Stars Program is made possible by the generous support of Vectren. For more information or to nominate an All-Star in your life, visit www.daytondragons.com/communityallstar.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.