OH YEAH OH YEAH - ITS SANDLOT TIME AGAIN - Spring 2016 registration is open and Shelby , Michaela , Jordan and I are so excited for this upcoming season.
This post is going to be a little different . Most of the time when you read about a non profit there are a bunch of stories followed by a request for money and assistance . So I am going to tell you that there is going to be that but later. I want you to know that this is not solely about raising funds but about the PROGRAM and where we started and where we HAVE to be so I am mentioning funds right up front.
These past five years have been absolutely incredible and we cannot wait to see what God has in plan for us the next five . Our season will start March 14th and run through the first week in June.
The One Project and Sandlot Baseball has been our passion to go out into the community and do what ever we can for whom ever with immediate response. It has allowed others to find one of their God given talents and passions to go out and make a difference in so many ways. I often say I wish God would have shown me this path earlier in my life but I keep coming back to the conclusion that HE knew it wasnt my time and also I needed to get out of my own way and grow more in life lessons to be able to do this . God is still teaching me so much as far as patience, humility ( believe it or not ) , love, forgiveness ( a tough one for me ), strength ( everyday ) , understanding and many other things.
The road has been probably the toughest I have traveled , sacrifice has been at times extreme for my family and friends but I tell you this because everytime God has a bright and shinning light and it is incredible . This past year was full of doubt and worry about our future and every time God showed me HE has a plan and control . Sometimes it was an answer to a prayer and others a simple gesture or hug from a parent or child we have touched or an introduction to a new child or family.
One of our hardest things to get started in our Non Profit application was to be able to define what we were all about and we found ourselves focusing on youth mainly and then being there whenever we could for those in our community. God placed us in the right spot at the right time every time and as we grew we found he was doing it to others we had contact with. I have often, since we started , been called upon to look at home repair jobs ( what I do to pay the bills ) and have found a need that The One Project needed to handle instead. A single mom with two wonderful girls whos bathroom needed work , a vehicle that needed to be repaired, a meal that needed to be given, a tree that needed to be cut down, singles that needed to be repaired, a house that flooded and needed fixing are just a few of the things The One Project has done since we started five years ago.
We have eaten lunches with kids at school , counseled kids at home, donated clothes, toys, baseball equipment , taken fishing and hunting, taken groceries to homes, I am probably leaving out a bunch because I honestly cant remember them all and dont care to since there is SO MUCH left to do.
I have often said that with Sandlot we dont offer baseball to families we use baseball to touch families. I am realizing that the off season is so hard for me not because I cant coach but because I cant see all of our kids and families shine . There are so many wonderful things written and spoken to Shelby and I about what the Sandlot and The One Project mean to them and their families but it is attributed to what these families put into the program and it is incredible and I am blessed weekly to be a part of it.
She is going to give me grief about this but watching Shelby and all she does for our community makes me believe what I tell our friends that I married way out of my league ( nice baseball pun ) and she does it selfless and with an intense love. Her countless hours behind the scenes for both The One Project and Sandlot baseball and also at our kids schools volunteering along with taking care of us at home have amazed me. Her sacrifice for what we do and to stand beside me through this journey strengthens me and I thank God everyday for allowing me to be her husband and the mother of our kids. There have been so many times I have wondered how she finds the strength and patience with me and this journey and yet she is there everyday . Even when her fibromyalgia and fatigue hits her hard. If you ever want to see a remarkable love for others please come out to the fields and see her with our young people . Watch her hug on, love on, sit with, run bases with, talk with these kids .
Not many fathers would ask a 7 year old and 5 year old ( when we started 5 years ago ) to sacrifice many things to do what we do but to see them and their love for God and others and to put aside their wants for others has been remarkable . Jordan and Michaela are our blessings and I could not be any more proud of them both. At the end of the day when the tell me they believe in what we are doing and it comes from a now 10 year old and a 12 year old it warms my heart .
I wish there was enough time and memory in my computer to let you all know each and every story , maybe one day a book will help and one written by someone more eloquent than me. Please trust me in our first five years we have enough stories to make up a real good feel good read.
The One Project and Sandlot Baseball HAS TO GROW and will grow but it takes a community and Im not only talking about the one we live in. It takes any and all who are able to read this post. It has to grow because there are children and families that need comfort, food, a break, a time to know that there are others out there who truly care for them . There are houses that need mending, bills that need to be paid, clothes that need to be bought, lessons that need to be taught and hugs passed around like the wind all of these things and more that show Gods love and grace and most of all HOPE .
We need our own facility, one that puts everything we do in a central location so we can do what we do there and also go out and find and assist in needs outside . We need a facility for a safe zone for our children and families , our baseball fields ( or any other field ) to continue to reach our youth. We need volunteers with their passions and at least one gift from God to fuel themselves and others. This program started in a small home and a horse pasture ( Sandlot ) and has done so much. I cant wait to see what it does as we grow. We will be presenting more details soon about a facility but we have to start NOW .
We need scholarships for Sandlot , no family has ever been turned away because of financial needs and never will . The amount of equipment such as pants, cleats, gloves has been awesome and it goes out as fast as it comes in . Nothing better to see a child who started with us turn in his or her glove because they out grew it to choose one bigger . We tell our kids that their first glove is theirs and if they outgrow that one that they can still keep it since the first glove is usually very special and still we have kids turn them in so that another can use it . We need equipment to maintain our fields and also use when we go out and assist families .
We need donations for our general fund to continue to fix houses, assist in bills, clothing and every need one can think of to give a family HOPE . My personal passion is food . To make sure that no one is hungry child or adult . It is amazing to see someones face when presented with a weeks worth of groceries and expect nothing in return.
There are more but the LAST one is : We need to make this our main priority, I about said full time but it already is . There is to much to do in our community and our focus needs to be on our mission but Shelby and I cannot do more without taking care of our family and minimal bills. I have struggled with this and how I mention it but it is what it is.
My vision was for any and all business' to donate what they could and during this for everyone else to donate at least ONE dollar ( sure more if you like ). All corporate donations would be towards our yearly budget and all individual donations would be used for immediate response in our community or where ever the needs arise and these needs arise daily . At this moment is have several needs such as a new roof on a family that has special needs foster children ( who also play at the Sandlot ) , two single mothers who have issues with both of their houses, funds to buy groceries for another single mother and child along with assisting in paying some bills, clothes for four children of one family.
Please go to our website at www.sandlotfamily.com if you need more information or want to give . there are two separate Paypal buttons or you can contact me directly at 336-707-1655 or email@example.com.
If you know anyone in the Triad who could benefit from our baseball league or needs assistance please pass our information on to them or let me know. If you have a free Saturday come on out and watch these awesome kids play , meet our families and just enjoy a day out at the ball park.
If our program has touched you in anyway through The One Project or Sandlot Baseball please drop me an email or a letter we would love to hear from you.
The One Project is - what can u do with at least ONE gift from God .
Sandlot Baseball is building Faith, Family and Community ... ONE inning at a time.
May God Bless you every day and lets play ball,
With Much Love,
Coach Mike, Shelby, Jordan and Michaela Isaacson