David Valle (US Baseball Player)
The first time David Valle went to play outside of the US, it was in the Dominican Republic. As he said later, he didn’t know what to expect and was relieved to see many children running towards him after he left the ballpark. After all, back in America, kids would ask for his autograph all the time.
He was stunned when he finally understood that they didn’t care much about him. They were hungry and just wanted some food. Shaken by this experience he made the decision to help them and their families.
In 1995, one year before retiring, he founded a non-profit, Esperanza, which means hope in Spanish. Since then, through microfinanced loans he has helped hundreds of Dominicans start a small business to end the circle of poverty they were trapped in. He has now expanded operations to neighboring Haiti.
Update: an example of Esperanza’s success: Milan Tapia