05/17/2013 11:56 AM ET
Major League Baseball players, Volunteers of America promote service-learning through new PSA campaign 'Teammates'
LaTroy Hawkins, Craig Kimbrel and high school students join forces to encourage youth volunteerism
Volunteers of America and Major League Baseball players have teamed up to inspire the next generation of volunteers by launching a new radio and TV public service announcement campaign titled "Teammates."
The PSA campaign was created to encourage students, teachers and administrators to volunteer through the high school-based Action Team national youth volunteer program, administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America. PSAs were recorded in January 2013, when LaTroy Hawkins (New York Mets) and Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta Braves) were joined by more than 100 high school students from the Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston areas -- most of them Action Team members.
The campaign demonstrates that high school students can have a profound impact in their communities when they become "teammates" as part of the Action Team. The PSA also demonstrates the continuing growth and popularity of this unique program.
The Action Team was launched in Denver in 2003, and to date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 64,000 students to serve over 204,000 people in need.
This school year, Major Leaguers and more than 900 Action Team Captains in 130 high schools across the country are working together to inspire and train the next generation of volunteers. There are Action Teams in 34 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and Japan. Each month, Action Team Captains participate in a conference call hosted by legendary broadcaster George Grande featuring a Major Leaguer and an "Action Team High School of the Month."
Action Team Captains also receive free posters, DVDs, T-shirts and brochures to help support their efforts. They are invited to attend Action Team training sessions at the beginning of the school year and receive free tickets to Major League Baseball games as well as certificates of achievement signed by Major Leaguers near the end of the school year. The Players Trust annually awards $40,000 in college scholarships to recognize the efforts of Action Team Captains -- those students responsible for planning and organizing the volunteer activities that help mobilize their peers to get involved.
For more information, please visit www.ActionTeam.org. To request copies of the PSAs, please email the Action Team at ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.
Watch the 60-second PSA on the Players Trust YouTube channel or listen to the Radio PSA.