The Jays Care Community Crew -- a collection of employees from the Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Centre and Sportsnet, along with corporate partners and Jays Care volunteers -- is currently looking for volunteers to assist in Jays Care initiatives throughout the 2014 Blue Jays season.
Since 2012, the Jays Care Community Crew has made a commitment to: acting as a channel for individuals to become involved in the betterment of the community; providing meaningful, engaging volunteer opportunities for individuals passionate about making a positive impact through sport and education; and assisting Jays Care Foundation initiatives and efforts towards breaking barriers to sport and education for Canadian children and youth.
In 2013, Jays Care Community Crew members volunteered their time and expertise to facilitate Jays Care Foundation's marquee events -- including the Curve Ball Gala, Sportsnet Charity Broadcast Auction and 18th Annual Charity Golf Classic -- as well as other Jays Care and Blue Jays endeavours.
Throughout the 2013 season, Jays Care Community Crew members sorted canned goods at North York Harvest Food Bank, collected non-perishable food and monetary donations at the Lady Jays Food Drive, and helped brighten the holiday season for 153 families participating in the Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre and the Neighbourhood Centre's Share Christmas program. Crew members could be seen throughout the city of Toronto, gloves in hands, training Rookie League leaders and ensuring Rookie League programs across the city ran smoothly and efficiently. They were also found in the Jays Care Community Clubhouse, hosting charitable groups throughout the entire season and helping to raise even more funds for Jays Care initiatives such as the Garage Sale.
Throughout the 2014 Blue Jays season, Jays Care Community Crew members will be responsible for a number of initiatives, including:
- 50/50 Game Day Fundraisers: Help sell 50/50 tickets at select Blue Jays home games in support of Jays Care Foundation.
- Baseball Diamond Makeovers: Roll up your sleeves, spray on some sunscreen and help turn a field into a baseball diamond for children and youth throughout the Greater Toronto Area to use for baseball programming.
- Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League*: Help distribute equipment to community leaders, run various baseball drills and officiate and facilitate baseball games for children and youth participating in the Rookie League program throughout the GTA.
"When I began volunteering with Jays Care Foundation, I didn't realize that along with teaching kids how to play baseball, I would also meet friends, join a community and immediately be able to see the effect of the work that I was doing," said 2013 Jays Care Community Crew member Elizabeth Benn. "By spending five minutes talking to a 7-year-old girl about her brothers and sisters, telling her how much I love playing baseball and letting her wear my hat, I was giving a child who lives in a house with eight other children with a single mother rare attention."
Jays Care Community Crew volunteers are making a difference by going to bat for kids in Toronto and across Canada -- don't miss your chance to join the team.
For more information on Jays Care Community Crew volunteer opportunities, or to become a member, contact Mark Bettencourt at email@example.com or 416-341-1446.
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Matt Warner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.