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Steven Souza Jr. creates “Home Runs for Hope” campaign to benefit Consider the Lily

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This season, for every home run Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. hits, he and his wife, Mikaela, will donate $1,000 to Consider the Lily, which rescues girls from broken homes in the Philippines. Souza Jr. has 7 home runs so far this season, which brings the donated total to $7,000.

The Rays Baseball Foundation will also contribute $5,000 to Consider the Lily in support of Souza Jr.’s “Home Runs for Hope” campaign.

In 2015, Steven and Mikaela embarked on a missionary trip to the Philippines with Unlimited Potential Inc., a religious organization consisting of current and former professional baseball players. While on their trip, Steven and Mikaela visited rural villages, providing food to families in need.

The Souzas first met Josie Long, the founder and Executive Director of Consider the Lily, on their trip and visited the organization’s home — the JAZ Family Home — which houses over 40 girls who have been rescued, and heard several of their personal stories, falling in love with Consider the Lily’s mission and importance in the Philippines.

“We are passionate about giving hope to girls and boys who have been abused in their homes so we’ve partnered with the Florida Dream Center and Consider the Lily,” said Souza Jr. “We want to bring more awareness to childhood abuse and sexual abuse that goes on internationally and in the United States and give these girls a new hope in their lives.”

Consider the Lily focuses on putting an end to human trafficking one person at a time— whether it be through prevention homes, rescuing children who are at risk of being sold, or impacting the ones responsible for this slavery by reaching out at bars, clubs, brothels and hideaways throughout the Philippines.

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With the creation of this campaign, Souza becomes the fourth Rays player to create such a charity campaign.

Other player campaigns are Colby Rasmus’s “Hitters for Heroes Campaign”, which donates $1,000 to Team Rubicon for every home run, Evan Longoria’s “Pet Pal Animal Shelter” campaign, which donates $100 for every home run to the St. Petersburg shelter of the same name, and Chris Archer’s “Starting Right, Now” campaign, which donates $25 for every strikeout to fight youth homelessness. Rays President Matt Silverman is the chairman of the board for Start Right, Now’s Pinellas County branch.