Dozens of high school students from the New York, New Jersey, Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area converged at Citi Field to train as Action Team high school volunteers.
Victor Black and Eric Young, Jr. of the Mets as well as Kevin Frandsen and Craig Stammen from the Nationals joined the young people in an auditorium at the ballpark hours before their game on Saturday evening for the volunteer group’s second regional training session.
Nine schools were in attendance including two schools who are new to the Action Team program — Watchung Hills Regional High School from New Jersey and Bishop Ireton High School from Virginia.
The training session kicked off with an ice breaker led by Action Team National Manger Lyman Smith from Volunteers of America followed by a Q&A session with the Major Leaguers. The discussion focused on getting others involved in volunteering and time management.
Frandsen spoke about how he originally became involved in volunteering through visiting the hospital where his brother was receiving cancer treatment. He recognized a need for volunteers as well as support for the terminally ill and others going through difficult times in life.
Eric Young, Jr.’s call to volunteering was simple: “I started a long time ago volunteering just because I enjoyed the impact I had on other people, to help those who are in need as well as create relationships with those who were out there volunteering with me.”
When you join the Action Team you join a community of fellow high school students who share the same desire to give back and help the less fortunate.
“If you’re on an Action Team, you’re a leader,” Frandsen said. “When you go volunteer bring your buddies, bring your friends. It then becomes an awesome event. Never be afraid to ask your friends to join you and to put volunteering before hanging out.”
Victor Black told the group he focuses on volunteering during the off-season when he has more time to help, especially during the holidays.
“In most cities there are families who aren’t able to experience the holidays the way that some of us are,” Black said. “So to be able to give back and be a part of delivering Thanksgiving meals and presents to families it’s something that fills your heart with joy when you see their smiles.”
“The biggest tip is if it is important to you, you will schedule time for it,” Stammen said. “Just like you schedule time for dinner, and schedule time for lunch. If you really want to do something you put it in your schedule and once it’s in your schedule, then you will get it done and schedule other things around it. It will become a priority to you.”
Started in 2003, and administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team national youth volunteer program trains and inspires thousands of teens to get involved annually.
With more than 100 schools across the United States, Puerto Rico and Japan, the Action Team has inspired more than 73,000 high school students to help more than 229,000 of their neighbors in need.
To learn more and to #JoinOurTeam, please visit www.ActionTeam.org
Read more from Craig Stammen in the Action Team Blog www.playerstrust.org/action-team/blog/