LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - When 22 Texans with Buckner International in Lubbock arrived in the Dominican Republic they were greeted by a familiar sight, a mass of blue and red shirts that gave them a taste of the Lone Star State: Texas Rangers Baseball shirts.
Two Buckner Family Hope Centers in Santo Domingo have been set up to help social orphans in in the region.
Everywhere these volunteers looked, Dominican Republic citizens of all ages were proudly wearing these shirts.
Most of them said "Hamilton", "Wilson", and there were even some left over from the 2011 World Series game.
When KCBD approached those wearing the shirts and asked if they liked the Texas Rangers, 11 said they knew the team, but another 20 had never heard of them.
The managing director at Buckner Dominicana, Maria Alida de Brugal, finally gave us some answers about the mass of shirts.
"Texas Rangers have donated shirts for all these communities we're working at in the Dominican Republic," she said, "in two locations with Buckner Dominicana."
The amount of shirts the Rangers have sent the Dominican Republic could fill about one quarter of their stadium.
"I think we've had over 12,000 t-shirts," Brugal said. "You should see the faces of the children when they receive a t-shirt, how happy they are - maybe it would be the only shirt they have to go out."
The Texas Rangers even flew Brugal and some of her Buckner Domincana coworkers to watch a game recently.
"We were VIPs," she said. "We were watching the game. I think it was a starting game or something like that. I have the t-shirt."
Buckner volunteers washed feet of children in need and gave out 300 pairs of new shoes to kids in need. The Texas Rangers made a similar trip in 2011. Brugal said they gave over 250 children a form of protection for their feet.
"People are so thankful of this support that we are receiving," she said. "We're very proud in every way."
The shirts have created fans for a team that plays 2,000 miles away and brought a splash of color to this struggling community.
"I think it's nice of them to do that," said one Buckner Dominicana translator. "Even though they don't know these kids, to be like 'Oh, we want to give you something,' and for our country - we love baseball…it's like something important for us. And for them to give us is special."