Will Koenig honored his mother, Kara Larson, by giving to the community what she gave to him: the ability to join together to partake in America’s greatest pastime, baseball.

“She also kind of made sure baseball was a big part of my life,” said Will.

Before cancer claimed her life last year, Kara taught Will to love baseball, not only as a sport, but as a way to build comradery. She left in him the importance of community and the desire to give back in any way possible.

“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, Kara’s husband.

Now Will wants to do his part in carrying on her memory through their shared passion.  He converted a school project into a full-scale nonprofit organization.

Change-Up Uganda  is a nonprofit organization that is sending baseball gear and money over to kids in Uganda,” explains Will.

In this organization, he managed to maintain his mother’s love of baseball, desire to give back, and work to build a stronger community. He even managed to name the organization with a pun to relate the sentiment:

“Change up, like you’re changing up a place, and change up is a pitch in baseball,” he said.

She changed his life, and now it’s his turn to change others’.

Thanks to her 13-year-old son, Kara Larson’s memory lives on in every baseball game in Uganda.

To support Change-Up Uganda, please visit their GoFundMe Page.

Lydia is from northern Oregon. She is in the process of achieving her Bachelor's in English Literature at Hillsdale College. She enjoys attempting to do yoga, playing with dogs, and reading in obscure places in nature.