Honoring Mom: A Portland teen uses baseball to give back
Will Koenig's mother, Kara Larson, loved baseball.
"She also kind of made sure baseball was a big part of my life," said Will.
Kara was always thinking of others.
"She was a real giver-back," said Kara’s husband, John Koenig.
Last year after cancer took her life, Kara's loved ones honored her in a way they knew she would have wanted to be honored.
"When she passed, instead of people sending flowers, we asked people to donate money to the Wilshire Riverside Little League, and they raised about $7,000," said John.
Will's keeping his mother's spirit alive by doing what she did -- he's giving back, and he's using the sport they both loved as the vehicle for change.
"Change-Up Uganda is a nonprofit organization that is sending baseball gear and money over to kids in Uganda.", explains Will.
He turned a school project into a nonprofit organization that is helping kids 9,000 miles away.
"What a great way for a 13-year-old to give back, and send it to kids that will really get a huge impact from getting some used gear," said John.
Even the organizations name was Will's idea.
"Change up, like you’re changing up a place, and change up is a pitch in baseball," explains Will.
The name is no doubt a home run, but Change-Up Uganda is more than that, it's a son honoring a mother who taught him that baseball could be more than just a game.
"That's why I'm doing this. I want other kids to have that experience, so that they can play."