If this month’s call set the tone for the 2014-2015 Action Team Monthly Conference Calls series then we are in for a treat!
October’s call featured New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson, an influential star both on and off the field.
Robertson, who began High Socks for Hope—a non-profit dedicated to helping those affected by tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters—started the organization in 2011 after the Tuscaloosa tornado ripped through his hometown.
“The tornado took out 15 percent of the town I grew up in — all of the streets I drove down as a kid,” Robertson told the Action Team members. “Everything was gone. People I knew lost their houses and it was really tough for me.”
With the help from High Socks for Hope, the town was able to build several houses for families who had nothing left. Robertson learned quickly that disaster relief has no borders and no down time.
When Hurricane Sandy devastated New York, the community in which Robertson plays, he knew the victims faced the same fate. “You have to start your life all over again.”
Robertson told the students that he credits his parents for instilling in him the values of compassion and community service.
“They taught me to always do it with a smile and make sure you’re giving as much help as possible,” he said. “Don’t do something you’re not going to be proud of.”
Robertson also spoke about the way people coming together to impact their communities can bring out the best in each other.
“It is just like a baseball team. We push each other in the right direction so everyone stays the right path and gets the right thing done.”
The Action Team of the month, from Manatee School for the Performing Arts, was also recognized during the teleconference for its outstanding efforts in the Palmetto, Fla. community.
The volunteers on the Manatee Action Team regularly incorporate the arts to enhance the lives of others by putting on performances and plays at nursing homes, local parks and community centers.
“Music really helps people. It makes their day or week a little better and a little brighter to have that special happy moment,” said Danielle, an Action Team Captain from Manatee. “Just getting out there and volunteering helped me become a better person overall. The main goal in life is to be happy and my main goal is help you be happy.”
Robertson appreciated the time, energy and coordination required to take the Manatee Action Team’s from vision to reality.
“It takes time and effort to do what they do and they are committed,” the pitcher said.
The lasting message from the Action Team’s initial teleconference of the 2014-15 school year was that all it takes is a spark to ignite the will and inspiration to make a difference.
“We can change,” said Danielle. “We can change the future generations and we can change ourselves just by helping others.”
Action Team: @_ActionTeam
David Robertson: @DRob30
High Socks for Hope: @HighSocks4Hope