During my visit to the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista, as I walked down Third Avenue past dozens of booths, my eye was caught by a banner with the words Miracle League. When I asked what that meant, four friendly guys explained how their organization, called The Miracle League of San Diego, provides special needs kids around San Diego County with the opportunity to play baseball!
How cool is this?
Special needs players, with the assistance of volunteer buddies, play on special rubberized baseball fields at Engel Family Field in Del Mar and at Bell Middle School. The unique playing fields accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and the sight-impaired. Players and buddies are matched for an entire Spring or Fall season, and every player scores in fun two inning games that end in a tie. Players are ages five and up. Buddies are kind, patient community volunteers!
According to The Miracle League of San Diego website, announcers are provided with index cards about each player so they have ample material to highlight every at bat. Special needs kids become baseball superstars!
Do you know a special needs kid who’d love to play baseball? Would you like to be a volunteer buddy? Do you want to learn more?
These kids have a very serious, often life-threatening disease or condition. And parents need to be at the bedside of sick children. Ronald McDonald House provides a place nearby where these families can stay.
Today was Ronald McDonald House Charities San Diego’s 9th annual Red Shoe Day. I took these photos during my morning walk to work!
If you weren’t able to slip a few dollars into a red shoe, and you find it in your heart to help, please visit the online donation page here.
The older I get, the more I enjoy watching kites. I like to sit quietly and watch joyful kites flutter and soar like birds. It’s such a simple thing. I must be well into my dotage. Or perhaps I never grew up.
Today I headed down to Ocean Beach’s Robb Field to check out the big 70th Annual Kite Festival. This popular family event is presented by the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Beach, who make the world better with their generous, charitable work.
According to the event’s description, The OB Kite Festival is the oldest children’s kite festival in the United States. All I know is, even on an overcast day, those kites made the sun shine throughout Ocean Beach.
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I learned something important today. This coming Wednesday–February 28, 2018–is World Rare Disease Day.
I wouldn’t have known this had I not walked through Mission Beach’s Belmont Park and met some smiling volunteers. They are working to raise awareness about rare diseases. They had a table set up near the carousel and told me a little about this often overlooked problem.
Rare diseases are usually caused by faulty genes, and about half of the people affected by rare diseases are children. Almost a third of these children will not live to see their fifth birthday.
Sadly, about half of all rare diseases do not have a specific foundation supporting or researching the condition. As you can see, it’s critical for many kids that we spread the word and provide support for those who are sick, and fund research in the search for effective treatments.
Two websites where you can learn more and perhaps help are here and here.
Please click my photo of the information chart, and it will enlarge so you can read it. Feel free to share any of these images.
Today I discovered an inspired project that helps school students learn about the Holocaust, and how to fight injustice and bullying.
The Butterfly Project had a special event this afternoon at the San Diego History Center. By pure chance I saw a sign for the event as I walked through Balboa Park.
Inside the San Diego History Center, I watched as compassionate visitors painted ceramic butterflies–one for each child who perished in the Holocaust.
Then I heard presentations by two speakers who had family members endure the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. These powerful presentations, complete with photographs and touchable artifacts, are often made to students in school classrooms. The presentations encourage Hope, Optimism, Kindness, Dignity and the Power of One. I learned how there were amazing instances where the courage of one person against brutal Nazis saved many innocent lives in labor and concentration camps.
One person can speak out. One person can take risks for others. One positive person can change many lives.
According to their mission statement, The Butterfly Project is a call to action through the arts, using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry through the painting of ceramic butterflies, permanently displayed around the world to memorialize each of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.
The Butterfly Project seeks to partner with anyone that has or wants to build a connection to history, honoring those who died in the Holocaust. They want to get their beautiful, symbolic butterflies into schools, museums and community centers. They want to be included in classrooms across the country as an important part of Holocaust and anti-bullying education.
Can you help? Click this link to learn how to get involved.