06/17/2013 5:01 PM ET
Major League Baseball players award $186,750 in grants to Volunteers of America programs nationwide that serve those need
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Major League Baseball players presented $150,000 in grants from the Major League Baseball Players Trust to five Volunteers of America programs that further the organization's mission to strengthen communities and build better lives for those in need. More than $1.3 million has been provided by the Players Trust to 70 Volunteers of America programs since the first grants were presented by Major Leaguers in 2003.
Additionally, the players contributed $36,750 to local affiliates in recognition of their efforts to help grow and improve the Action Team national youth volunteer program, which was created by the Players Trust and Volunteers of America in 2003 to train and inspire the next generation of volunteers.
Volunteers of America national president Mike King said, "It's great to see the many accomplishments Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust have achieved over the years. Thousands of people have benefited from the Trust's generosity and we look forward to building on the good work of this partnership for years to come."
"Major League baseball players are honored to provide funding in support of various programs administered by Volunteers of America local offices to address the needs of underserved populations across the United States," said Players Trust director Melissa Persaud. "For more than 10 years, Major Leaguers, through the Players Trust, have found the perfect partner in Volunteers of America -- an organization which shares the players' passion for helping our neighbors in need, while inspiring others to do the same."
This year's winning programs received Players Trust grants ranging in size from $9,650 to $50,000, which were presented on June 17 at Volunteers of America's national conference in Washington, D.C. The five programs serve thousands of people in all regions of the United States:
Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, All of Us Care Computer Center:
The grant will provide technology upgrades in the All of Us Care computer center that serves children and at-risk youth ages 7-18 in the Pittsburgh area. The computer center has become a steady support system to keep youth off the streets and in a safe and supervised environment outside of school. This grant gives the local office the ability to custom-build new workstations and allows the computer center to better meet demand from participating youth.
Volunteers of America of Western New York, Children's Center Dental Clinic:
The Players Trust funding will enable the local office to open a dental clinic onsite at their Children's Center in Rochester, N.Y. The Children's Center provides child care, early-childhood development programs and after-school programs for at-risk children who live in one of the most destitute sections of the city. Through this funding, Western New York, in partnership with the Rochester General Hospital Department of Dentistry, will ensure that nearly 300 impoverished children ages 3-5 receive access to dental care as a vital part of their overall health and quality of life.
Volunteers of America of Alaska, Life Skills Training Program:
This grant will facilitate the implementation of a Life Skills Training program for students in grades 5-12. The long term goal of the Life Skills Training program is to prevent underage drinking, enhance self-esteem, increase the number of adult mentors in children's lives and foster healthy life choices made by youth in the community. The overall objective is for all Anchorage, Alaska, youth to develop the skills needed to make healthy decisions that guide them into adulthood.
Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles, Women's Care Cottage:
Grant funds will be used to create an exercise center and backyard park-like setting at the Women's Care Cottage, a transitional housing and supportive services program for women ages 18-21 who have been emancipated from foster care and are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The environment that will result from this funding will translate into healthy physical activity for young women, and the sense of accomplishment that brings, as well as a space where they can feel at home, appreciated and at peace.
Volunteers of America of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, Alexandria's House:
Funding will assist in the purchase of a new home for 16 moms and their babies. Alexandria's House, in operation for 22 years, is the longest-running licensed maternity home for teen moms in Spokane County, Wash. The current Alexandria's House program has limited common areas and restrooms to accommodate the residents. The new site will double the living space; provide increased storage, a classroom, six bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. This home purchase will significantly increase the quality of life for the mothers, their babies, staff and volunteers.
Volunteers of America has partnered with the Major League Baseball Players Trust since 2002. The centerpiece of this relationship is the Action Team program, which encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. Action Teams, consisting of Major League Baseball players and Team Captains from area high schools, work together in cities nationwide to encourage young people to get involved in their communities by volunteering. To date, Action Teams across the country have inspired more than 64,000 high school students to help over 204,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities.