PHILADELPHIA – Jerad Eickhoff, Tommy Joseph and Adam Morgan of the Phillies joined Action Team Captains from around the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday (Sept. 17) to spruce up a Volunteers of America residential facility for adults coping with mental illness.
More than 40 of the Action Team youth volunteers traveled from two to four hours from schools in New Jersey, New York and Virginia to participate in the Action Team program’s first Regional Service Project of the 2016-17 school year.
The service project helped kick off the 14th year of the national youth volunteer program, whose objective is to facilitate and inspire high school students’ engagement in their communities.
After a quick briefing session, the Action Team Captains split into three groups to perform a variety of tasks including cleaning a litter-filled lot, planting fall flowers, assembling picnic benches and a storage shed, and baking cupcakes and cookies.
The Phillies players joined the high school volunteers and provided helping hands in support of the various projects to improve the environment for the residents of the 14-bed facility operated by the Volunteers of America’s Integrated Services Supporting Independence program.
Morgan, a 26-year-old left-handed pitcher from Marietta, Ga., joined the baking group in the kitchen to help decorate the cupcakes and cookies.
Eickhoff, a 26-year-old right-hander from Evansville, Ind., got right to work with a dozen of the high school volunteers assembling picnic benches.
On the other side of the facility, Joseph, a 24-year-old first baseman from Scottsdale, Ariz., joined the clean-up crew, raking debris from the littered lot and planting mums in newly assembled flower boxes.
Once the projects were complete, the group broke for lunch and a question-and-answer session with the players during which they discussed the importance of community involvement and shared stories about their personal volunteering and baseball experiences.
“This was my first Action Team event, but definitely not my last,” Joseph said.
The Action Team national youth volunteer program was created and is administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America. Through the Action Team, Major Leaguers and high school students working together to train and inspire the next generation of volunteers. Since the Action Team program launched in 2003, more than 91,000 high school students have volunteered to help over 280,000 people in need.
To #JoinOurTeam please visit http://playerstrust.org/action-team/application-form/