Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Helping Hands and Softball is for Girls

Name: Margaret Anne Donnelly
From: Syosset, NY
Grade: 12
School: Our Lady of Mercy Academy
Votes: 0

Helping Hands and Softball is for Girls

Margaret Anne Donnelly

I love to give back my time because so many people gave their time for me. I grew up in New Hyde Park where I played softball, soccer and basketball. All of the teams I played on were only available to me because people volunteered their time to run the leagues and coach the teams. One of my favorite groups growing up was Girl Scouts. This is another organization that was only available to me, because someone volunteered their time to run the troop at my school, Notre Dame.

I really enjoy making a difference for people volunteering my time. Helping Hands Babysitting is my favorite organization. Helping Hands Babysitting is a great group of women from Our Lady of Mercy Academy who volunteer to babysit for families dealing with cancer. A student at Our Lady of Mercy, Elizabeth Stiles, starting this organization and we now have
over 30 volunteers. So far I have been assigned one family who I have volunteered for about 5 times in the last 5 months. I babysit for the younger brother of a young girl who is battling cancer. It feels so good to play with the young boy, keeping his mind off what his sister is dealing with in her battle.

I also volunteer at New Hyde Park Little League. I played many years of softball at New Hyde Park Little League and now I volunteer at softball clinics. When I was 9 years old, my Little League All Star team lost in our sectional tournament. The following year, we not only won the sectional tournament but also the Eastern Regional tournament. Two years later, we made it all the way to the Little League World Series. Our team worked hard but our success was due to our volunteer
coaches and some older girls from our league who volunteered to help us get better at softball. That experience motivated me to volunteer at our Little League. I love spending time with the younger players. It is so satisfying to see a young girl work on a drill and put that skill to use in a game. You can literally see the joy on their face when they figure it out. Over the last 3 years I have volunteered at 8 clinics for about 16 hours.

Next year I will be off to college where I hope to pursue a degree in Secondary Education with a focus on either Math or Science. I hope to be a high school teacher someday where I also hope to have an opportunity to coach softball. My little league volunteer experience will help me when I am ready to start coaching. One thing I learned while working with the young girls, the same approach does not work with every girl. Some girls are very athletic and pick up things very quickly
while other girls need more time on the basics before they are confident enough to advance to the next step. Building their
confidence makes a big difference in the ultimate success of each player.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".