The members of the Ceres Blaze 10-and-under competitive baseball team spent the better part of two hours wrapping Christmas gifts for the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children (CPHC) family resource center on Dec. 18.
"Last year, we went to a tournament in Los Angeles," head coach Gabriel Cordova said. "A couple teams did the same thing. We took it a step further. We want to give back to the community. That's the big thing."
CPHC organized the toy drive, which resulted in the donation of 200 gifts.
The Blaze jumped at the opportunity to provide assistance.
"Our goal is to foster a sense of social awareness and responsibility through our team," Cordova said. "Our players can learn how to help our community at an early age to ensure a brighter future in Ceres. The Blaze is not just about baseball."
Blaze players Isac Cordova, Cameron Lopez, Alejandro Godoy, Adrian Garcia, Eliot Kee, Wyatt Kee, Daniel Andrade, Noel Anaya and Carter Hernandez, and coaches Gabriel Cordova, Gerardo Hernandez and Martin Andrade all helped out from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Family members contributed as well.
Wrapping stations were set up throughout the office at 2908 Fourth Street in downtown Ceres.
"We had at least 20 people there wrapping gifts," coach Cordova said. "A couple of the boys have never done that before. They were asking questions. The kids had a blast. That's the big thing."
The Blaze will partner with other organizations.
"We're looking at doing more activities in the future," Cordova said. "We don't want it to be a one-time thing. This is just a stepping stone. We're hoping the other Blaze teams will take part in the future."