Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a morning volunteering with the Miracle League of San Diego. On the drive into Coronado, I have to admit that I was a tad nervous about what to expect. All I knew was that this organization works with mentally and physically disabled children and their families, to allow the child the experience of being on a baseball team. Of course, I thought that this was an awesome program and I wanted to support it by helping out where I could. By the time I left that day to head home, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of positivity, gratitude and hope. The kids (i.e., the players) with their siblings, parents, friends, and cheering sections are amazing, immensely positive, and inspiring people.
From the moment you arrive to volunteer, the coordinator puts you to work setting up the backdrop with the Miracle League signs, tidying up the field of any debris, filling and putting out the water coolers for the players, and setting up the grilling and concession stand area. It is a lighthearted event with an announcer who makes the adults laugh and the kids smile over and over with his jokes and silliness. When the kids round first, second and third—some on their own two feet and some in wheelchairs being pushed toward victory by their “buddy”—the smiles on their faces are heart-warming and infectious.
I was set up to run the concession stand and grill up hot dogs for the crowd and sell Gatorade, waters, and chips. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the kids personally and cheer them on as they were fueling up for their final inning!
As I was getting ready to leave, I was asking the coordinator, Gianna, if she had known some of these families for the whole five years that she has worked for Miracle League. She explained that she’s known some of the kids for years. The parents tell her how much they all look forward to these games and that the games have improved their child’s confidence and spirit—and sometimes even their physical condition.
I’m hooked, and I can’t wait to get back out there to help out and cheer on these amazing individuals next season.