Winning More Than Just Ballgames – A Shout Out to Teams Who Serve Their Communities

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“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~Oscar Wilde

Seems like every year the parents on my sons’ travel teams talk about volunteer service ideas that we should get together and do on a weekend off. We have the best intentions of donating our time and resources to those who would benefit, and of teaching our kids the value of giving back to our communities.

Unfortunately, you know what they say about good intentions. Between never-ending fundraisers and the endless to-do’s piled up for those coveted no-tournament weekends, our volunteer ideas remain just that. Ideas.

Whenever I hear about a team converting those ideas into actions…getting together away from the ball field to do some good for their communities, it warms my heart… and tells me more about the kind of people they are than all their tournament trophies.

To all of you players and coaches who put others ahead of yourselves and donate your time and energy to lend a helping hand, here’s a huge THANK YOU!!!! May you inspire all of us to do the same.

Featured Image: 11U Hamburg Dawgs Black, from Buffalo, NY, in their awesome dabbing Santa practice shirts, collecting toys for a US Marines Toys For Tots fundraiser. This team engages in a friendly competition with the 11U Lancaster Wolfpack to see which team can collect the most new, unwrapped toys for local kids. Dec 16th the two teams will be at a local Toys R Us store for an in-store collection event. That day’s toy yield will be presented to a US Marine to take to a Marine warehouse for distribution.
Chesterfield, VA Fusion and Mid Cities Civic Association initiated a collection drive to help hurricane relief this year. They were joined by countless other softball teams to fill two semi tractor trailers. One went to Houston Texas and the other to Jacksonville Florida.
Northfield, NJ Little League donated hundreds of pieces of baseball equipment to kids in Puerto Rico this year.
The Head First Baseball Academy (Bay Area, CA) Leadership team Beyond the Field organized over 60 HF players and parents to volunteer out at the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) on Nov. 10, 2017. Two shifts of workers combined to process 37,964 pounds of produce equaling more than 31,000 meals for people in need in their community.
Erie Steelheads 2017 Toys for Tots day of giving.
Virginia Avengers, from Chesapeake, VA, also does a Toys for Tots donation drive.
The 14u Stafford Bandits were honored to join the Spotsy S.W.A.T 2017 hurricane donation efforts.

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Eastern Shore Wolfpack 14u donates Thanksgiving baskets to families in need AND hosts an annual Easter egg hunt for local kids.
Wolfpack team member assisting an Easter egg hunter.

Coach Amy Christopher of Spotsy Vipers 12U, tells of so many service projects her girls have done as a team. “Service is one of our core values! This year, we have assembled shoes for kids in Africa, collected donations for our homeless population in our county schools, painted rocks for the local oncology center, designed and sold a t-shirt to benefit our local Little League’s challenger division, and we are currently in a gift card drive for the family of an alumni of our organization who lost everything in a house fire.”

The girls with their shoe parts. “We traced and cut denim and plastic to transform into shoes for Ugandan children. This was a project through Sole Hope,” explains Coach Amy.
Spotsy Vipers painted rocks for a local oncology practice
Empire Baseball 12u boys and families, Orlando, FL, volunteered with Feed the Children. Together, they assembled over 1200 boxes of food for the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Asheville, NC Braves spending time packing food at MANNA Food Bank.
Last year, the Young Bucks, a 12U travel ball team from Gates County, NC, collected and donated 43 whole frozen turkeys with the “fixings” for a Thanksgiving meal to families in need. Their coach Gary Stevens is an active supporter of giving back to the community. Baseball- it’s more than just a sport!
Virginia Impact Fast Pitch volunteers for Backpacks of Love, an organization that provides needy school children with backpacks full of nourishing foods to take home on the weekends.
Texas Terror spent a day making sack lunches and sorting items for Hurricane Harvey evacuees at a local Houston church.

The 11U Blue Wildcats of Oxford Township, MI spent a Sunday afternoon doing volunteer yard work for senior citizens in need of assistance. Photo courtesy of Oxford Leader.com.
Henrico, VA’s TSI Lady Titans raise money for RAMPS – Ramp Access Made Possible By Students

South River Seahawks travel baseball team is donating their time on December 16th to Wreaths Across America to lay wreaths on the graves at Arlington Cemetery. Click here to donate a wreath in honor of a loved one. 

Aggies Baseball from Santa Cruz, CA sends new and gently used baseball equipment over the border to kids in Mexico who want to play ball.
The 10u Arizona Warbirds Gold’s mission is teaching boys how to be great citizens as well as great ball players. This fall they volunteered packing food for people in Guatemala with Feed My Starving Children and sent 16 care packages to the United States Coast Guard Maritime Engagement Team stationed in Bahrain. Each player wrote a letter to an individual service member and included loads of goodies, a team hat and lots of well wishes.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other teams out there who deserve a spot in this post for their good works. If you know of one, please tell us about them in the comments and we’ll be sure to include them in our next volunteer shout out.

Can’t end without saying thank you to our incredible sponsors, Victorem Resistance Gear and SweatX Sport Odor Eliminator.

Every Travel Ball Parent needs SweatX Sport.
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Angela Weight

Founder and publisher of Travel Ball Parents.com, Angela Weight is still a little shocked to be running one of the most popular youth sports parenting sites on the web. Click the ABOUT US tab to read her story.

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