José Bautista, Drew Hutchison, Jake McGee and Ryan Weber joined more than 40 student volunteers from the Tampa-St. Petersburg area on Saturday (Nov. 19) to assemble “hygiene kits” for homeless veterans across Florida.
The players and Action Team Captains from George Steinbrenner High School, King High School and Manatee School for the Arts assembled the kits at Volunteers of America’s Kaylee Bay Village in Tampa, which is a housing complex for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
“What you are doing here is great, whenever you have the opportunity to give back, especially to our country’s veterans is very important,” Bautista told the assembled Action Team Captains, who during the course of the school year perform multiple, civic-minded service projects.
This was the Action Team’s second regional service project of the 2016-17 school-year. In mid-September, Action Team Captains from New York, New Jersey and Virginia joined Phillies players Jerad Eickhoff, Tommy Joseph and Adam Morgan in Philadelphia to help spruce up a Volunteers of America residential facility. You can read more about that project here.
Also, past regional service projects have been held in California, New Hampshire and New York, The Action Team regional service projects were established to bring together Major League baseball players and Action Team Captains from diverse backgrounds and environments by providing them with meaningful volunteer opportunities. During each regional service project, responsibilities are assigned to the Team Captains in a manner that allows them to work closely with teens from other schools and areas and a Major Leaguer. In addition to participating in a project, each event features a question and answer session that allows the youth volunteers to hear directly from the baseball players why volunteering is an important part of their lives.
The Action Team national youth volunteer program was created and is administered by the Players Trust and Volunteers of America. Since the Action Team program launched in 2003, more than 91,000 high school students have volunteered to help more than 280,000 people in need.