It was an evening for reminiscing, when Major Leaguer Wesley Wright was reunited with New Hope Academy Action Team Captains on the final Conference Call of the 2014 calendar year.
On December 12, just days before the conference call, Wesley joined teens and adults coordinators from Prattville, Alabama’s New Hope Academy, one of the newest Action Teams, during a holiday senior luncheon and dance party for residents at the nearby Gillespie Senior Center.
“My wife and I had a great time,” expressed Wesley. “We were impressed with how willing the kids were to help and do what they could to make the event memorable for the people there celebrating.”
Wesley exchanged his baseball cap for a hairnet, and got right to work with serving meals alongside Action Team Captains. Together, they helped set up and decorate the dining hall, and prepare and distribute dinner to the senior citizens.
“It really inspired my wife and me to want to do more. Just to see the impact you can have on people when you are trying to do something nice. You never know how much you can touch someone and I think those kids got to see firsthand that just a little bit matters and it’s going to encourage them to want to do even more.”
It wasn’t all work and no play for Wesley and the Action Team Captains, though. After they helped serve dinner, they hit the dance floor with the seniors and created an evening full of smiles and laughter.
What was Wesley’s favorite part of the party? “My favorite part was seeing everyone having such a great time on the dance floor, enjoying the music and spreading the holiday spirit. People don’t get a chance to really see that a lot. It brought a smile to a lot of faces and it definitely did for me.”
Giving back is something Wesley has always valued as an important aspect of his personal and professional life.
“I think it is part of our obligation as professional athletes,” shared Wesley. “So many people look up to us and appreciate what we do. It’s important to be able to give back, reach out and just let people know that you are a real person and go through real struggles just like they do. Sometimes it’s just an hour of your day, but it’s an hour well spent.”
Wesley explained that his biggest inspirations growing up have been his parents. His mother, who recently retired, continues to devote her time to helping elderly people in her community with her church and his father always takes the opportunity to help someone whenever he can. “It really left an impression on me and my two older brothers as to just how important it is and when you have an opportunity to help someone you should definitely take it.”
There is no better time than the holiday season to give back to your community and the Action Team Captains are proof that no act too big or too small goes unnoticed and unappreciated when it comes to lending a hand.
Simply put, just take New Hope Academy Action Team Captain, Jordan’s, advice. “That’s just what life should be about, helping others.”
To listen to the entire December call featuring Wesley Wright click here.