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Press Release

08/14/2007 3:55 PM ET
Seattle Mariners players, Volunteers of America and Western Washington Action Team members take disadvantaged children out to the ballpark

SEATTLE –- A group of VIPs will arrive at Safeco Field today as personal guests of J.J. Putz and other Seattle Mariners players, and the Western Washington Action Team, the youth volunteer corps administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America. The special visitors are 55 Puget Sound-area elementary and middle school students.

The kids will travel to the stadium from Camp Volasuca in Sultan under the Buses for Baseball banner, a nationwide program administered by the Players Trust to give underprivileged children throughout the United States and Canada the opportunity to attend a Major League game as the personal guests of the players.

Once at the game, the children will meet the players, get autographs, and receive free tickets, food, beverages and souvenirs. In tow will be Team Captains of the Western Washington Action Team, a group of high school student volunteers who are acting as role models for the disadvantaged youths and drawing attention to the need for positive enrichment programs for vulnerable children and youths. The younger children visiting today all have incarcerated parents who are being served through other Volunteers of America Western Washington programs.

“On behalf of my Mariners teammates, in particular, and all Major Leaguers, in general, I want to thank the Western Washington Action Team Captains for getting involved to help brighten the day of needy children from our area,” said Action Team Player, and Mariners reliever, Putz. “Action Team Captains all across the country are doing a great job in helping Major Leaguers inspire and train the next generation of volunteers.”

After meeting the players, the youths will relax, eat hot dogs and other stadium fare and enjoy a major league game –- a first for many of them.

Administered by Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. Action Teams – consisting of Major League baseball players and area high school student Team Captains – work together in Seattle, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco and Washington, DC. To date, Action Teams across the country have inspired more than 9,000 high school students to lend a helping hand to more than 38,000 people in their respective communities.

Each season, the Buses for Baseball program, administered by the Players Trust and underwritten by Majestic Athletic, a division of VF Imagewear, Inc., has provided an unforgettable trip for more than 1,500 youths, many of whom are being helped in other Volunteers of America programs.

An Action Team school-based curriculum developed in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition carries the message of volunteerism and teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the United States.

The Action Team program with Volunteers of America Western Washington is made possible through active partnerships with Cascade High School and Archbishop Murphy High School, both in Everett, as well as the Sky Valley Youth Advisory Council supported through Volunteers of America.

The Major League Baseball Players Trust partnered with Volunteers of America in 2002 to promote the nurturing and well-being of America’s children and their families. The partnership features the personal involvement of Major League baseball players and their families with a variety of programs conducted by Volunteers of America throughout the United States. Together they administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative inspiring the next generation of volunteers in a dozen cities around the country. For more information about the Major League Baseball Players Trust, visit

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 more than 400 communities. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youths, 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