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MLB.com

Press Release

10/10/2007 4:45 PM ET
Major League Baseball players, Volunteers of America and student leaders train next generation of community volunteers
Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America to operate action teams in 16 cities during 2007-08 school year

Alexandria, VA –- Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust today launched a school-year of nationwide volunteerism for high school students across the United States. Action Teams, consisting of more than 30 Major League baseball players and 200 high school Action Team Captains, will inspire and train youth to get involved with community programs in 16 cities, while the Action Team's service learning curriculum in The Wall Street Journal's Classroom Edition will develop community leadership skills in more than 700,000 high school students in 5,000 classrooms across the United States. Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC, will benefit from Action Team volunteer activities of high school students during this school year.

Since its beginning in Denver five years ago, Action Teams have inspired more than 9,000 young people to volunteer to help over 38,000 people in need. Working closely with Major Leaguers, high school students volunteer through school-based activities and Volunteers of America programs that serve at-risk children and youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, homeless individuals and families, and many others. Projects include reading to children; serving meals at homeless shelters and senior centers; collecting food, clothing and gifts; hosting holiday activities; and charitable fundraising.

“We are pleased to team up with the Major League Baseball Players Trust because we know the players share our commitment to increasing the level of volunteerism among America’s young people,” Volunteers of America President and CEO Charles W. Gould said. “When people start volunteering at a young age and find their experience to be positive, they’ll likely continue volunteering into their adult lives.”

“Major Leaguers are very proud of the job the Action Teams are doing to inspire thousands of high school kids to volunteer in their communities,” said Jimmy Rollins, shortstop for the National League East Division champion Philadelphia Phillies and an active member of the Philadelphia Action Team. “Volunteers of America and high school students from across the country help Major League players deliver an important message – volunteering is fun and personally rewarding.”

The Action Teams also conduct a nationwide public service campaign entitled “I Volunteer Because…” to build awareness about the importance of volunteering. The 30- and 60-second television spots feature personal testimonials from high school student Action Team Captains, together with Carlos Delgado (NY Mets), Nomar Garciaparra (LA Dodgers) and Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins).

To view the “I Volunteer Because…” PSA visit:
www.mlbplayers.com/actionteam or www.VolunteersofAmerica.org

Participants in the 2007-2008 Action Teams include:
* new in 2007-08

Boston -- Players: Alex Cora, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox Schools: Boston College High School, Boston Latin High School and Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Boston; English High School in Jamaica Plain; and Newton North High School in Newton

* Cincinnati -- Players: Ken Griffey, Jr., Eddie Guardado and Javier Valentin of the Cincinnati Reds
Schools: Elder High School, Oak Hills High School and Seton High School in Cincinnati

Dallas/Ft. Worth -- Players: Brad Wilkerson and Michael Young of the Texas Rangers
Schools: Jean Massieu Academy and Arlington High School in Arlington, TX; North Side Senior High School and Arlington Heights High School in Forth Worth, TX.

Denver -- Players: Jamey Carroll, LaTroy Hawkins and Cory Sullivan of the Colorado Rockies
Schools: Denver Academy and The Johnson Program

Detroit -- Players: Curtis Granderson and Nate Robertson of the Detroit Tigers
Schools: Mumford High School in Detroit; Ferndale High School in Ferndale; Fraser High School in Fraser; Waverly High School in Lansing; and Warren Woods Tower High School in Warren

* Houston -- Players: Jason Jennings, Hunter Pence and Chris Sampson of the Houston Astros
Schools: Mayde Creek High School and Reagan High School in Houston

* Indianapolis -- Players: Ken Griffey, Jr., Eddie Guardado and Javier Valentin of the Cincinnati Reds
Schools: Cathedral High School in Indianapolis; and Mooresville High School in Mooresville

Minneapolis/St. Paul -- Players: Lew Ford and Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins
Schools: Volunteers of America of Minnesota Education Center; Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park; and Mounds Park Academy and St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul

* Mobile -- Schools: Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette; St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile; and CF Vigor High School in Pritchard

New York City -- Players: Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Jose Valentin of the New York Mets
Schools: Cathedral High School in New York City; and Queens Vocational and Technical School and High School for Arts and Business in Queens

Oakland/San Francisco -- Players: Eric Chavez, Mark Kotsay and Huston Street of the Oakland A’s; and Randy Winn of the San Francisco Giants
Schools: Athenian High School in Danville; Mt. Eden High School in Hayward; SkyLine High School in Oakland; Miramonte High School in Orinda; and KIPP King Collegiate High School in San Lorenzo

Philadelphia -- Players: Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies
Schools: Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter High School in Philadelphia; Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ; Collingswood High School in Collingswood, NJ; Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester, NJ; and Paul VI High School in Haddonfield, NJ

Portland, ME -- Players: Alex Cora, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox
Schools: Edward Little High School in Auburn; Thornton Academy in Saco; and Scarborough High School in Scarborough

Seattle -- Players: Raul Ibanez and J.J. Putz of the Seattle Mariners
Schools: Archbishop Murphy High School and Cascade High School in Everett; and Sultan High School in Sultan

* Washington, DC -- Players: Chad Cordero, Felipe Lopez and Brian Schneider of the Washington Nationals
Schools: St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA; and Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through thousands of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps more than 2 million people in over 400 communities. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Our work touches the mind, body, heart-and ultimately the spirit-of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org