Here are a few of the amazing mentors and program partners we work with, sharing what they learned from their moms, how she led by example, and how she has impacted their work with kids…
This week is National Volunteer Week. Although some of us are paid staff at our organizations, most if not all of us have been volunteers at some point. As youth-serving organizations and non-profits, volunteers play a huge role in the success of our mission.
This speech was made a few years ago by then 5th grader Dalton Sherman to 20,000 teachers and school staff of the Dallas Independent School District. Its message, however, is not only timeless but rings true for anyone whose goal is to help kids realize their potential.
I stumbled upon this blog post, Letter from a Volunteer Coach, which paints a picture of the frustrations of being a volunteer coach and why it’s worth it.
It reminded me of these words from Theodore Roosevelt:
As Matt Jeffers said so well, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
Sam Surowiec must share the same philosophy. He didn’t let losing a leg stop him from competing in triathlons, playing wheelchair basketball, or sharing his love of sports with the young people he coaches.
As Bill Ripken often reminds us, simplicity should never be mistaken for a lack of substance. We use the word simple – simple concepts, simple ideas, simple programs – so often it seems as though everything we do is, well, simple. While our strategies, our tactics, and our goals may be complex and lofty, our program mission during Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Summer Camp remains quite simple.
For many of us, our moms were our first life coaches—teaching us what we needed to know, holding us to high standards, and loving and encouraging us through it all.
What is the best life lesson you learned from your mom?
They said we would never make it
I was always told that
Every person has their own destiny
And to never let anything or any person get the best of me
That’s the one way in life to succeed
Part of what we try to do at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is show kids that they are not powerless—each of us can choose how to handle whatever life has thrown our way. But you have to know what your options are first.
They’re the ones who show up when you need them, with a smile on their face, ready to jump in and do whatever it takes. Whether it’s coaching, mowing the field, serving lunch, folding newsletters, making sure the kids get on the right bus—whatever it is, many of our organizations are able to serve a great number of kids, provide critical services, and create wonderful experiences because of dedicated volunteers.
As we come up to one of my favorite times of year, March Madness, I always get excited about the opportunity to watch great stories of underdogs, buzzer beaters, and overcoming obstacles unfold. But with all that excitement encompassing that four week stretch, my most enjoyable moment is the playing of “One Shining Moment.” It is the final piece of the NCAA Tournament and includes all of the visuals of the greatest plays, hardships, and captures the overall excitement of the tournament. Not only is it a recounting of memories, but with its lyrics it describes