So, this is an idea that I thought was pretty cool at first. But then, on second thought, I realized that it is one of my favorite ideas...ever.
Starting last year (in St. Louis, no less), Major League Baseball teamed up with People Magazine in a very cool way. The idea is called Everyday All Stars. The concept behind the whole thing is to start recognizing-in a very public way-the efforts of everyday people. People who we have all thought at one time or another, "man, he/she would go out of his/her way for anyone! They should get an award or something." Well, here's their chance. The selected people (who can be nominated by anyone, including themselves) don't just get their names scrolled across the screen in the middle of the 5th inning. These 30 people (one to represent each MLB team) get the whole All Star experience. They are in the host city for the entire break. They get to mingle with the players during Home Run Derby. They get to be introduced on the field during player introductions before the game. And a short documentary is made for each of them to be shown sometime during the festivities.
I'm guessing this is just the emergency manager coming out in me, but I think this is just awesome. At a time when volunteer numbers are at their lowest in several generations (and for obvious reasons), what better way to encourage people to get out and help? Now, I do believe that the REAL everyday all stars do not need any encouragement to get out and act, but this has the potential to increase volunteer numbers exponentially; even if the work is done with selfish ambitions in mind.
Some people need a little extra push to get out and help, we all know that. I see this as the nudge those people on the fence may need. I mean, who doesn't want to meet Albert Pujols or see if the TV is responsible for the extra 200 pounds that Prince Fielder appears to be lugging around? That is motivation enough for me to do just about anything-good or bad. Major League Baseball and People Magazine are providing the incentive that millions of people have been lacking to this point.
I have no idea how many nominations were received last year. I have no idea how many have been submitted this year. But I can't see how this thing won't just keep growing and growing. I can't see how the bar won't be raised higher and higher each year by the All Stars. And you can bet that I will be doing my part to make sure that there are enough applicants to choose from. The process is extremely simple. A short 100 word explanation of what the person has done. Nothing to it. That person is now entered to win the experience of a lifetime.
There is no criteria of what they must have done, so I will be nominating anyone and everyone I can think of for this...
And you should too....