Major Leaguer Hector Santiago Shares His Passion for Volunteering with Action Team Captains
2017-18 Action Team conference call series debuts with veteran pitcher calling in from Puerto Rico
As the baseball season nears its end, the Action Team national youth volunteer program's season is just getting underway. With the new school year beginning, the Action Team program hosted its first nationwide conference call for Captains and Ambassadors on October 12.
Joining high school student volunteers from around the country on the call was current major leaguer Hector Santiago.
Santiago, a left-handed pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, called in from Puerto Rico where he is actively lending a hand in hurricane relief efforts.
Following Hurricane Maria’s direct hit on the U.S.-island territory nearly a month ago, Santiago, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has been collecting food, water and supplies in the United States to aid the people of Puerto Rico. Since a majority of the tropical island is still without power, Santiago said that native Puerto Ricans welcomed battery-operated fans.
Growing up in Newark, N.J., Santiago said he was inspired to a life of volunteerism by his father, who always “wanted to help, and never said no to anybody.”
During the season, Santiago makes time before games and uses off days to volunteer and visit local RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) groups and camps, and continually visits hospitals and schools in the Twin Cities area.
Action Team Captains Katherine Hartnett and Sam Sharpe from Brunswick High School in Maine, also joined the call as featured guests and they detailed their continued volunteer efforts with the Brunswick High School Action Team.
Among the group’s many accomplishments include work with a local bird rehabilitation center, Avian Haven, and a cleanup project on Peaks Island off the coast of Maine.
Both Sam and Katherine offered the support of their local Action Team to Santiago’s relief efforts, and Hector welcomed the assistance of any Action Team interested in providing items for his next crate of goods.
Throughout the school-year, the Action Team hosts teleconferences, hosted by legendary broadcaster George Grande, that offer teens and Major Leaguers opportunities to discuss their shared passion for helping others. The Action Team program is free to join for high school students, who receive free T-shirts and posters, as well as opportunities to receive college scholarships from the Players Trust, certificates of achievement signed by Major Leaguers and invitations to attend Major League games as the guests of the Players.
Since its launch by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America in 2003, more than 100,000 high school students have helped over 305,000 of their neighbors in need through the Action Team national youth volunteer program.
To #JoinOurTeam, visit the Action Team website.
Read more about the Action Team and the efforts of local Captains here.
Watch the Action Team’s latest TV PSA on its YouTube channel here.