PALMETTO -- Imagine a world where not everything is as easy as you think.
Simple acts such as brushing your teeth or getting ready in the morning are a challenge.
This is the case for the players involved in the Miracle League of Manasota. Composed of the children in the Manatee and Sarasota counties with disabilities, the Miracle League organization allows all players the opportunity to play baseball regardless of ability. Their mission is to give all players of school age the chance to acquire team sport experiences and the enjoyment of joining in on the fun.
Palmetto High School's baseball team players witness this event firsthand. They were there helping set up for the players starting at 7:30 a.m. in preparing for the adventure in store for the day. These volunteers had the opportunity to spend time with them by playing baseball.
When asked what he took away from this experience, PHS senior baseball player Tyler Henning said: "the ability of being more accepting of others and seeing everyone as a normal person, not just their disability."
Richard Glass, coach of Palmetto's baseball team, contacted the director of the Miracle League to get his players involved. They were all greatly affected by participating in this event, he said.
"It was super rewarding," said Glass. "It puts in perspective what really matters in life. (We) take for granted the things that other kids face on a daily basis."
The PHS volunteers were there most of the day. Each was put with at least one person from the league to get to know them a little more.
Henning was partnered with Madeline, a 10-year-old girl with autism. They got to hit, throw and run the bases like any other player.
"She was fun to be with because she had a positive personality that was really infective and just put you in a good mood," said Henning.
Each volunteer said they took something invaluable away from the experience. It is a memory that will live on forever in their hearts.
Information: Contact the Miracle League of Manasota at MiracleLeagueManasota.org to make a contribution, download a sponsorship form or volunteer.