This past Thanksgiving holiday, a number of Major Leaguers joined forces with their local Action Team schools in Florida, Maine, and New Jersey as they combined to give back to their neighbors in need.
On the Saturday before the holiday, Poland (Maine) High School Action Team Captains sorted turkeys and canned goods at the Poland Community Church Food Bank from 9-3. The Team Captains distributed 150 turkeys and canned items to be given out to families in need. The Captains were the only volunteers at the location that day and the Food Bank staff was very grateful to have such an enthusiastic and compassionate corps of reinforcements. The experience was a moving one for the Action Team, prompting the Captains to sign up for a return engagement to support the Food Bank’s Christmastime food distribution.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Action Team Captains from Watchung Hills Senior High held a three week-long Thanksgiving Food Drive with the Action Against Hunger Club from November 3-23. The event benefited the Somerset county Food Bank in Bound, NJ. Team Captains collected over 74 shopping bags full of canned food, 73 cases of water and 38 cases of “snacks”. The event culminated with the delivery of the donated goods the Tuesday before the holiday. A short car-ride away north of Watchung Hills, the Elmwood Park Action Team in New Jersey held a similar event, participating in a ten-day food drive, collecting more than 200 items that was donated to St. Leo’s food pantry to help feed those struggling in their own community.
Finally, on Thanksgiving eve, Action Team Captains from Cypress Bay High School in Florida made their way to the Ft. Lauderdale Ronald McDonald House, where they were joined by Major Leaguer and St. Louis Cardinal outfielder, Jon Jay. Together, they prepared dinner for 35 families staying at the temporary home for the holiday. The Cypress Bay baseball team made sure not to arrive empty-handed, bringing donated canned goods, cleaning supplies and toilet paper to stock the shelves for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House while their loved ones were staying at local hospitals. After they unpacked the donations, Team Captains and Jay prepped a feast complete with turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes for the families who were set to arrive later in the evening.
Thanksgiving, and the holiday season, in general, helps provide Action Teams everywhere with ample opportunities to get involved to help their neighbors in need. Their efforts do not go by unnoticed, as their selfless and passionate commitment to others inspire others to follow their lead.
To view photos from these events be sure to check out our gallery here.
For more information on the Action Team program or to #JoinOurTeam please visit www.ActionTeam.org