Students volunteer in local Miracle League

Addison Neely

     Most students are required to obtain a certain number of community service hours because of their involvement in various service clubs and organizations. Many of these students are branching out from the normal volunteer opportunities and are participating with Miracle League. This league is a baseball organization for physically and mentally challenged children, where they can come and play in a safe environment with buddies to help along the way. These buddies help the players while allowing them to play as independently as possible. Every player gets to hit the ball, run the bases and score, and each team is provided with an adult coach and at least one buddy per player. For most who participate, this league is more than an organization that provides the required hours.

     “I love helping out the kids and seeing how much joy and excitement it brings them and their families.” Hailey Grant, senior, said.

     There are no winners at the end of each game, as the league wants to support building players up rather than weighing them down with losses. These athletes get a sense of unity and teamwork they may not find elsewhere. The buddies benefit just as much, if not more than the player they are paired with.

     “I absolutely fell in love with the idea of helping kids play baseball and have fun.” Danielle Yero, senior, said. “These kids enjoy playing and laughing just like we all do. They deserve to know how it feels to hit a baseball, catch a baseball and connect with kids who have the same disabilities they do.”

     Every person associated with Miracle League has their own reason for participating in this particular organization; community service hours, family ties, friends who volunteer, etc. However all buddies have one goal in common, to make a difference in a child’s life. This goal is what sets Miracle League apart from most other organizations.

     Along with the satisfaction of making a difference in someone’s life, there are many perks to Miracle League. Aside from community service hours buddies can receive scholarships for their volunteer work. The scholarships are not particularly substantial; however, most students agree that when saving for college, every penny counts.

     Miracle league teaches an assortment of values and morals to all players, buddies and coaches. It ultimately makes a person take a new perspective on things and their life. Once buddies participate in this program, they are in store of a long term bond between them and their player. That bond doesn’t fade away with the seasons ending.

     “I get the feeling of how much I take for granted. I remember after my first Miracle League game, I went and sat in my car after and just realized how little my issues and problems really are.” Yero, said. “These kids have lived through more hardship than I ever have or ever will, and these kids manage to go to these games with an open heart and a smile on our faces. I know how difficult just that can be for me sometimes. I get the feeling I am truly helping out someone, and it’s for a purpose.”

     Every participant can request a buddy, but for the most part it is a random pairing. Town and Country Optimist Club have already opened sign ups for the spring season.

     Every Saturday morning in the month of March when the games occur, the bonding between the player and buddy begins. Miracle League is a special organization where every person that walks off that Town and Country Field, disabled or not and leaves a better person. 

     If you are interested or know someone that is interested in joining Miracle League, visit miracle.tandcsports.org for more information.