The miracle of baseball for special needs kids!

These guys with The Miracle League of San Diego help make dreams come true for special needs kids who love baseball!
These guys with The Miracle League of San Diego help make dreams come true for special needs kids who love baseball!

I met some inspirational people today.

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?

Click to visit their website here!

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How you can help USO San Diego fight hunger!

The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for a hungry neighbor, receive a five dollar coupon for the store!
The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for those who are hungry, receive a five dollar coupon from the store!

Before I post more photos of Comic-Con, let me alert my local readers to a great opportunity to help others. I just discovered an easy and essentially free way to help fight hunger in San Diego!

Walking back home from Comic-Con, I realized I needed groceries, so I swung by the downtown Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. As I stepped inside, I was greeted by two friendly volunteers from the USO. They’re working to fight hunger in San Diego!

I learned that during the month of July, shoppers who purchase a $5 bag of food from their table to help feed the hungry receive a $5 coupon from the store!

Kudos to the USO and their efforts. Kudos to Grocery Outlet Bargain Market for their generosity!

I also learned the USO collects food twice a month from a mobile food pantry in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check out the USO San Diego Facebook page for times and locations!

USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!
USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!

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Real-life superheroes help San Diego homeless!

Visitor to San Diego Comic-Con takes a photo with The Nyght, patrol leader of the Xtreme Justice League, a group of real superheroes in San Diego.
Visitor to San Diego Comic-Con takes a photo with The Nyght, patrol leader of the Xtreme Justice League, a group of real superheroes in San Diego.

Today I was walking around outside San Diego Comic-Con when I met a real-life superhero. His name is The Nyght. He’s a member of the Xtreme Justice League.

The Xtreme Justice League began in San Diego, but now has superheroes operating around the country. Their primary mission is to help local communities stay safe.

These volunteer superheroes, wearing outlandish protective garb, are highly trained for what they do. They conduct safety patrols in rough neighborhoods and offer a variety of public safety services. They report dangerous activity that they observe to law enforcement. They strive to provide positive role models for at-risk youth. They oppose vigilantism–they believe in compassion, nonviolence, volunteerism and heroism.

They also work to help the homeless.

Tomorrow–Saturday July 21, 2018–members of Xtreme Justice League from all around the country will converge in Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove to help San Diego’s homeless. Their event is from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm. If you’d like to help them out, they accept donations of items such as individual tissue packs, socks, sunglasses, water bottles, sunscreen and sleeping bags.

You can learn more about who the Xtreme Justice League is, and what they do by visiting their website here!

The Xtreme Justice League works to increase community safety. They encourage residents to become involved in helping the homeless and reducing crime.
The Xtreme Justice League works to increase community safety. They encourage residents to become involved in helping the homeless and reducing crime. Be your own hero!
The Nyght tells me a little about the Xtreme Justice League, and how they and their members from around the country will help the homeless this Saturday in Balboa Park.
The Nyght tells me a little about the Xtreme Justice League, and how they and their members from around the country will help the homeless this Saturday in Balboa Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Help sick kids and their families in San Diego!

Donate today to help sick kids and their families in San Diego!
Donate online today to help seriously ill kids and their families!

Would you like to do something positive today? Would you like to help others who find themselves in an unspeakably difficult situation?

Please consider making an online donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities San Diego. Their mission is to help families that have a child receiving critical treatment at a San Diego hospital.

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.

Thank you!

If you support Ronald McDonald House, you'll smile just like these generous people!
If you support Ronald McDonald House, you’ll smile just like these generous people!
Your gift will sponsor a meal, provide supplies for a student, or help a family stay near a hospital where their child is receiving critical treatment.
Your gift will sponsor a meal, provide supplies for a student, or help a family stay near a hospital where their child is receiving medical treatment.
More happy people on the streets of San Diego! Have I convinced you yet?
More good people on the streets of San Diego!
Even if 2018 Red Shoe Day is over, you can still donate online today!
Even if 2018 Red Shoe Day is over, you can still donate online today!

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Many caring, animal loving volunteers needed!

These cool guys with the San Diego Humane Society are looking for lots of animal loving volunteers! That might be you!
These cool guys with the San Diego Humane Society are looking for lots of animal loving volunteers! That might be you!

Do you live in San Diego? Do you love dogs, cats and other animals? The San Diego Humane Society needs your help!

I learned from two friendly guys in Balboa Park that the San Diego Humane Society needs lots and lots of new animal loving volunteers at their San Diego, Oceanside and Escondido campuses. Last week, an agreement with the City of San Diego has the humane society taking over the city’s animal control services. That’s an enormous job! That means literally thousands of more lost pets and “unwanted” critters to care for!

There are many volunteer opportunities. You can foster. You can walk dogs. You can love kittens. Yes, even cleaner-uppers are needed. The humane society already has over 5000 volunteers, but that’s not enough!

They really need your help! For more information, check out the San Diego Humane Society website here!

Spread the word!

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San Diego Audubon Society’s fun Bird Festival!

People enjoying the annual Bird Festival at Marina Village have walked to the San Diego River Estuary where many aquatic birds congregate.
People enjoying the annual Bird Festival at Marina Village have walked to the San Diego River Estuary where many aquatic birds congregate.

Today during my walk I encountered of group of enthusiastic birders at the San Diego River Estuary. These folks were all participating in the San Diego Audubon Society’s annual Bird Festival, which takes place this weekend at the nearby Marina Village Conference Center.

Later during my walk I visited the Bird Festival’s registration room, where anyone can purchase dozens of different birdwatching and reference books, plus other gifts. A friendly lady informed me that the San Diego Audubon Society has about three thousand members! During the Bird Festival and throughout the year, members can go on all sorts of field trips around San Diego County, and take every sort of bird-related class imaginable.

Members and volunteers are also involved in working to restore critical bird habitat in Mission Bay! I blogged about that a couple years ago here!

Do you make your home in San Diego? Do you love birds? Then you probably should join the Audubon Society! Here the local chapter’s website, where you can also learn more about the very cool Bird Festival, which continues through tomorrow!

The San Diego Audubon Society offers many birdwatching opportunities. The organization also has a conservation program.
The San Diego Audubon Society offers many birdwatching opportunities. The organization also has a vital conservation program.
If I joined the Audubon Society, maybe I'd learn what sort of behavior these birds are displaying!
If I joined the Audubon Society, maybe I’d learn what sort of behavior these birds are displaying!
Poster at the Bird Festival shows how the San Diego Audubon Society is helping to restore the nesting habitat of the endangered California Least Tern in Mission Bay.
Poster at the Bird Festival shows how the San Diego Audubon Society is helping to restore the nesting habitat of the endangered California Least Tern in Mission Bay.
I believe this little guy on the bank of the San Diego River is a snowy egret.
I believe this little guy on the bank of the San Diego River is a snowy egret.
Members of the San Diego Audubon Society enjoy a perfect sunny day and identify lots of birds!
Members of the San Diego Audubon Society enjoy a perfect sunny day and identify lots of birds!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Help raise awareness for World Rare Disease Day.

World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.
World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.

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.

These cool volunteers at Mission Beach's Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
These cool volunteers at Mission Beach’s Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.

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