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8th grader Samuel Love combines his love of helping others and his standout baseball career this weekend in Mesa, AZ

Samuel Love, a 14-year-old 8th grader at Murray Language Academy, has several passions. One is baseball, and this weekend, he will participate in the 2017 Junior All-American Games at the Chicago Cubs Spring Training Complex in Mesa, AZ. While in Mesa, Love will also indulge his other passion: helping young people who have been impacted by some of the worse weather-related tragedies in the country. Love is asking the community to donate gift cards for his annual Sam’Ta Love Toy Drive to ensure that kids in Houston and Puerto Rico have a great Christmas.

IMG 2215For the sixth year, Love aka Sam’Ta Love, is continuing his efforts to bring holiday joy to young kids by collecting toys and gift cards. In 2016, Love delivered toys and gift cards to kids in Lumberton and neighboring Princeville in North Carolina—towns nearly lost to Hurricane Matthew and the related flooding. This year, there was no doubt that Love would be working to bring much needed support to the young people in Houston and Puerto Rico.  He is jump-starting those efforts as he participates in the All-American Games.

“Baseball is a very important part of my life, and I’m excited to be participating in the Junior All-American Games,” said Love. “But, just as important to me is helping the kids who’ve been struck by this tragedy, and I’m confident that the residents of Arizona will generously help me kick off my drive for 2017.”

The Junior All American Games kick off with an Opening Ceremony at the Chicago Cubs Spring Training Complex in Mesa, Arizona on Friday October 6th at 7p.m.  Love will be playing at Westwood High School in Mesa, on Saturday October 7th at 10 a.m.; and on Sunday, October 8th those advancing will play at Riverview High School in Mesa.

Since first launching his initiative in 2012 for children in the New York area impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Love has collected nearly 20,000 toys and gift cards for young people in Illinois, Colorado and Arkansas.

Love is being joined in his efforts by a host of businesses, community and political leaders from the Arizona community, including: Cloves Campbell, Jr., co-publisher and COO of the Arizona Informant newspaper; Eddie and Joy Johnson, A Joyous Event Planning and Management, LLC; Herb Bias; Police Chief Jeri Williams and her husband, Cody Williams, Maricopa County Justice of the Peace; Dr. Kirk Williams, doctor of Family Medicine, Phoenix; John and Dr. Ann Hart, Deputy Associate Superintendent Arizona Dept. of Education; Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., senior pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix;  Bishop Alexis Thomas, senior pastor of the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church; Dr. Duane Wooten, pediatrician; Tonjua Sibley, family nurse practitioner at Terros Health; Chuck Kelly, State Farm agency owner; and others.

 View these links to learn more about Sam’ta Claus:

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