On their Facebook page on Nov. 13, Baseball for Dad told the community that they were going to be running a new fundraiser soon to raise money for their organization’s work; to end the stigma around mental health, creating awareness and normalizing conversations about mental health. They said they would be teaming up with schools, organizations and workplaces to sell Mark24 apparel, with 60 per cent of proceeds going to Baseball for Dad’s Kindness Moose program and the other 40 per cent going to the hosting organization.
Baseball for Dad is a non-profit charity set up in honour of Mark Snider who tragically lost his battle with mental illness, taking his own life in 2019. It was set up in Mark’s honour by his mom Louri, to take the stigma away from mental illness. Since their inception, they’ve come up with a plethora of initiatives like placing baseball gloves around the world (as baseball was Mark’s favourite sport), the Buddy Bench program, their Kindness Moose program, their Moosing Around party rental business, their Green Ribbon initiative and now the Mark24 apparel line. The Mark24 apparel, according to the Baseball for Dad website, is about spreading kindness, creating awareness and normalizing conversations about mental health and removing the stigma around mental health. All profits from Mark 24 sales go back into mental health and kindness initiatives, and the Mark24 store can be found at www.baseballfordad.com.
As always, Mark’s mom Louri Snider is a very busy woman, but she says it’s a good busy.
“When I’m not working my full-time job, I’m delivering Kindness Moose, chatting with families, packaging and delivering Mark24 apparel, setting up the Beary Christmas light display, placing gloves and benches, and now planning for our first Flashlight candy cane hunt. This week I’m also helping my daughter in law clean, paint and move into her new home,” she says.
Snider says Baseball for Dad started talking about the Mark24 merchandise a year ago, and their initial planning was around raising awareness by saying wear it, share it and normalize the conversation around mental health.
“Over the past year, we worked out details such as where profits would go, brand name, online store, fundraising opportunities and having Mark24 apparel in stores,” she says.
Recently, Baseball for Dad announced that they would be teaming up with schools, organizations and workplaces to sell Mark24 apparel, with 60 per cent of proceeds going to Baseball for Dad’s Kindness Moose program and the other 40 per cent going to the hosting organization.
“We have had lots of inquiries, which is fantastic. We have only posted it on the Baseball for Dad Facebook page so far. We’re scheduled to send out emails to schools next week. Although we’ve heard from the North Addington Education Centre Public School [in Cloyne, Ontario], and we’re pleased to run a fundraiser with NAEC,” she says.
Snider says that they launched the Mark 24 online store on Oct. 27 and that they plan to add new things to the store each season. All profits from the sales go back into mental health awareness and kindness initiatives. She says they have six Canadian companies they currently purchase merchandise from and are checking out more options.
“We have no deadline on the fundraising opportunity. It’s a win/win for the Kindness Moose program and schools. Together, we’re creating the needed change around mental health and well being by wearing and sharing Mark24. I don’t have a favourite piece as I love it all and what it represents. M for mental health matters, A for awareness, R for removing the stigma, K for kindness and 24 is Mark’s favourite number, with 24 hashtags attached,” she says. “We recently added 24 hours a day, after an amazing lady who advocates for mental health suggested it.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times