On Friday the New York Yankees finished their first ever HOPE (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) Week. This was an unbelievable week where the Yankees staff, players, and coaches went above and beyond by reaching out to individuals and groups. Yankees.com describes it this way…
The New York Yankees are proud to introduce the creation of HOPE Week, a unique week-long community program designed to Help Others Persevere and Excel. During HOPE Week, the Yankees will bring to light five remarkable stories of inspiration.
Each day from Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24, Yankees players will reach out to an individual, family, or organization worthy of recognition and support. Though each day’s celebration will culminate at Yankee Stadium, outreach will often take place away from the field, to allow the Yankees to go into the community. Whenever possible, the Yankees’ goal is to personally connect with individuals in the settings of their greatest personal successes.
Some of the people the Yankees reached out to included Camp Sundown. Camp Sundown is a special retreat for those with Xeroderma Pigmentosum, or XP, a rare genetic disorder (affecting approximately 250 in the U.S. and 3,000 worldwide) that causes the body to be unable to repair cells damaged by UV light. The majority of those with XP do not live past the age of 20.
The Yankees transformed the Yankee Stadium field into an incredible carnival-like atmosphere, complete with wiffle ball games, bounce house, video games on the centerfield big screen, and magicians. Not to mention that these kids got to experience on these amazing things with some of their favorite Yankee ballplayers. The Yankees did this after a night game that was delayed three hours. The event wrapped up around 4am so that the XP kids and their families could get back before daybreak.
They also visited two special need guys at their Manhattan law firm where they sort and deliver mail, made dreams come true for a man diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), practiced with a six-grader with cerebral palsy and his little league team, and visited a crowded apartment in Washington Heights where a married couple started a non-profit mentorship group to nurture leadership in children from underprivileged neighborhoods.
CHECK OUT THIS POWERFUL VIDEO OF THE YANKEES’ HOPE WEEK.
Today I am a bigger New York Yankees fan than ever before and it has nothing to do with baseball.
Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or not, you have got to admit that this is amazing. They did not just throw money at some people, problems, or organizations. They gave their time. They gave their energy. I guarantee that they changed lives.
Let’s follow their example and make a difference in someone else’s life.