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by Kenzie Melvin ‘17
Acton, MA – Let’s face it, when it comes to community service on campus, there are two types of people at LA; those who fulfill our yearly commitment in the early fall and winter months, and those who are doing a six-hour-straight day of it three days before graduation.
For the past three years, I have been the latter.
However, this past On Campus Weekend, I came to the realization that I wasn’t particularly busy, and I decided to sign up for a few hours of community service and get ahead of the game.
Earlier in the week, Mrs. Poulin – newly appointed Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Community Service – sent out the usual email with opportunities to help out around the area and one particular one caught my eye. It had something to do with playing baseball for a few hours, and that seemed like fun.
Miracle League Baseball is “an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that gives children with disabilities a chance to play baseball as part of a team in an organized league at no cost to their family.”
Normally, I’d get really uncomfortable on community service trips such as these, because I’m not sure what to do or how to help, but when the Lawrence Academy van pulled up to the field and all six of us stepped out, we all knew immediately that it would be an amazing day.
Trent Briggs ’17, Kaylee Beagan ’18, Dominic Murgo ’18, Leslie Mateo ’18, and Sam Gelerman ’18 and I met our baseball buddies, but before I knew it my new companion had left my side to go and sing the national anthem.
When we hit the field, the rules of our game were simple – thank goodness – because I know little about baseball besides what a garner from my once-a-year outing to Fenway Park.
There would be two innings, no outs, and everyone got to take as many swings at bat until they hit the ball. When our buddy was on base, we would stand next to them ready to run the bases when they made contact. When our buddy was playing the field we would stand with them and help keep them engaged in the game.
Throughout the day, I noticed my teammate making such an extreme effort to say hello to everyone he knew, and to meet everyone with a nametag he didn’t yet know. He was so happy to be on the field and I realized that I too had not stopped smiling since I had been paired up with him. My own face hurt from smiling for so long and I was so happy that I had decided to sign up.
I encourage everyone who has the chance to sign up for this community service trip, because not only will you be making the day of a kid on the team, but I promise it will make your day as well. You may have to wake up early on a Saturday morning for this, but from someone who hates waking up early, it was definitely worth it.