With three curved fingers hooked on top, and a thumb
positioned underneath, Carlos Williams demonstrated how he held the
baseball for his first-ever major-league pitch.
threw the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game April 20 as part
of Catholic Charities of St. Louis’ Go to Bat for Kids campaign.
Later, Carlos showed off his newly prized possession, the ball signed by Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman.
“That’s how he told me to throw it,” Carlos said of his expert advice. “And I was the only one that got to throw that ball.”
Charities’ annual Go to Bat for Kids campaign brings the joy of
attending a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game to children who otherwise
would not have the opportunity to attend. People are invited to sponsor a
ticket for one or more children, with tickets distributed via Catholic
Charities agencies that assist children in need.
The campaign has
expanded this year, and Catholic Charities will distribute 3,000 tickets
over six games. The next game is scheduled Friday, May 18, against the
Philadelphia Phillies. More than 31,000 children have attended a game
since the campaign started in 2001.
Carlos and his 9-year-old
brother, Sterling, were part of the foster care program at Good Shepherd
Children and Family Services, a Catholic Charities agency. Three years
ago, Bernadette Williams brought the boys into her home temporarily,
with a goal of finding a more permanent solution, which is often with a
But as Williams explained, God had other plans. In
December, her adoption of the boys was finalized. “The plan was to
continue to do fostering,” the 55-year-old said with a laugh. “It had to
be (God), because it sure wasn’t me.”
Williams’ family includes
two grown children and two grandchildren. Carlos and Sterling fit right
in with the crew. “They all just clicked,” she said.
works for MCCB Transitions Inc., an agency that provides housing and
direct care for people with developmental disabilities. Influenced by
that work, Williams said she wanted to branch out and do something more
to contribute to the community. She became licensed as a foster parent,
and eventually was introduced to Carlos and Sterling through Good
“It’s a good challenge,” she said. “I stay busy. I stay
cookin’. Now they’re doing football and I’m working nights. The Lord
made the way and brought it all together.”
She offered encouraging
words for anyone who might have a calling to become a foster parent.
“It’s a blessing in disguise,” she said.
St. Paul’s Epistle to the
Corinthians describes God’s love for a cheerful giver. Williams
believes that passage is more than just about giving money.
could be your time, it could be taking care of someone, or doing
something for someone,” she said. “It’s all about, I need you, you need
me. We’re all part of God’s family.”