Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Service
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
To celebrate MLK, Jr. Day this Monday, 14 Phillies Ballgirls joined announcers Tom McCarthy, Scott Franzke, and Scott Palmer at Kinsey Elementary School in North Philadelphia to build a new library. We worked with over 100 amazing volunteers from IKEA, the Urban League of Philadelphia, and the Bethlehem Baptist Church to build shelves, assemble file drawers, unload books, paint borders, and encourage students to stop crime and start reading.
Although it was cold outside, nothing but warmth radiated from the smiles of every volunteer. Even if some of the jobs seemed trivial (putting curtains on a rod, dusting, sweeping floors, etc.) it was so wonderful to see what a huge difference could be made with four hours of work. By the end of the day an empty classroom had been transformed into a cheerful little library, complete with turquoise curtains, comfy black leather chairs, wooden tables and bookshelves, inspirational posters, and enough books to keep the children busy until they graduate!
I couldn?t help but smile as I saw children picking up the books I loved as a child. Ramona Quimby, Charlotte?s Web, Green Eggs and Ham, Tikki Tikki Tembo, Where the Wild Things Are? they even introduced me to some new ones (Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems is adorable). In fact, they were so engrossed in the new books that they kept reading even as photographers and camera crews swarmed around them. They did take note, however, when Scott Palmer announced that the first 100 students to check out a book will receive free Phillies tickets!
It just seemed like a wonderful day to celebrate the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an incredible man who once said, ?Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others??
Spending a few hours on a Monday morning may be a minor contribution, but if it helps children develop a passion for learning, cultivate self esteem, or expand their imagination, I think it will make a tremendous difference in the community.
I know one of my favorite things about being a Phillies ballgirl is the opportunity it provides me to give back to the Philadelphia area. With hectic schedules, full-time jobs, bills to pay, and loved ones to care for, it is hard for anyone to find time to volunteer. Still, I strongly encourage everyone to, ?Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.? (I stole that from Theodore Roosevelt, I?m not that eloquent.)
If you already do a lot of work for a charity, remember that our ballgirl softball team will take on any challengers to help you raise money for your cause. (And hopefully we can help you have some fun in the process!)
Take care and stay warm!