I recently had the chance to lead a group of eight Oglethorpe University volunteers at the North Metro Miracle League, where we provided assistance and motivation to special needs children and adults while playing the game of baseball.
As we arrived at Hobgood Park in Woodstock, Ga. on a rainy Saturday morning, we all hoped that the weather would cooperate long enough to play ball. With only a few drops of rain escaping the clouds, the games were on! First up were the little tikes. This game was played with children ranging from 6-10 years of age and the Oglethorpe volunteers were in charge of maintaining morale. During the second game for older participants, we paired up with the Miracle League players that needed assistance and we were able to provide individual attention and build relationships with them. Together with other community volunteers, we helped the players with their hitting and base running, and provided encouragement to these determined children and adults.
The service project with the North Metro Miracle League was more than just a project for me. It was a chance to revisit a type of project that renewed my passion for volunteering. During Oglethorpe’s Alternative Spring Break 2012 in Charleston, S.C., I volunteered with the Charleston Miracle League. This was special to me because I had volunteered with a similar organization throughout high school, and it was a great chance to dive back into something that I love doing. Volunteering with the North Metro Miracle League also gave us a chance to see Oglethorpe alumni in action. OU alumnus Robert Strozier ’86 founded NMML-Cherokee and now serves as coach for the team. I later found out that Mr. Strozier also had been a basketball coach at the high school I attended and where I played basketball. What a small world!
This service project gave students the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and make a difference in our community. A few of the student volunteers had never worked with special needs individuals, but said they would be ecstatic to do it again. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to coordinate and lead such a fun volunteer opportunity!