The Blue Jays, as all MLB teams, are active in the community and make commitments to many issues and fans. If interested in surfing their commitments, they are available here. Here’s a summary of what they entail:
- Jays on the Road: You can get all of the information here, and will be required to fill out an application form if you want this feature for a tournament or event near you. Quote from the site about the activities included “Jays on the Road presented by Bruce Power is the Toronto Blue Jays FREE interactive Spring & Summer Baseball Tour on wheels! Our Community Cruiser visits various minor baseball tournaments, schools, camps and events throughout the Greater Toronto Area. The program operates May through September and is the perfect element to compliment any event with its supply of prizing and team of baseball enthusiasts. So come on out and have some fun learning about the pros!” “At each appearance, the Crew will organize and execute various activities within the inflatable pitching and batting cages which are suitable to each event. Speed and accuracy pitching in our inflatable pitching cage along with the opportunity to hit a home run in our inflatable Rogers Centre, all the activities provide a fun and interactive zone for participants that are both young and young at heart. Prizes are awarded to each participant based upon their effort and participation, not their skill, to promote the enjoyment and participation in the game of baseball!” The events are held by Bruce Power, and since the schedule is only confirmed in April, you still have time to apply!
- Jays at School: You can get direct access to the site here, but the program is as follows: “Jays@School is an online application that uses the sport of baseball and the Blue Jays as a basis for students to learn! This complimentary program, available at www.jaysatschool.com, reinforces the current curriculum in Grades 4 through 6 and enables educators to download baseball-themed lesson plans in such subjects as Language, Mathematics and Physical Education. Over 1,300 educators are registered for Jays@School, reaching over 35,000 students across Ontario at a grassroots level. In addition to curriculum support, the more than 1,300 educators registered with Jays@School receive access to a variety of different programs, activities and exclusive contests that incorporate Blue Jays baseball into their daily activities. Blue Jays goodies are also distributed to Jays@School educators to be used as incentive prizing for their students.”
- Blue Jays Book Club: “As part of the Blue Jays Book Club, children who read a minimum of ten grade-specific, fiction books, receive participatory prizes from the Blue Jays and are entered into a draw to win the Grand Prize of a meet & greet with a Blue Jays player at Rogers Centre. Children can learn more about the Blue Jays Book Club by logging on to the interactive kids webpage of www.jaysatschool.com.”
- Player School Visits: Are you a student in Ontario or a parent that would love for your kids to meet some Blue Jay players? Well, this program may be your best chance! Here’s the quote from the site: “Each May, Blue Jays players and coaches hit the books and return to school to visit with local elementary students to relay positive messages about the importance of education, healthy lifestyles and anti-bullying. All educators and students receive a Blue Jays cap at these popular pep-rallies as well as an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favourite Blue Jays to find out exactly what they use to do, eat, learn and play when they themselves were just school kids. Educators who register with Jays@School automatically enter their school for a chance to be elected for a Blue Jays player-school visit.”
- Lady Jays: The ladies of Jays players get together to support a ton of causes. Here’s a run down of the causes they take a part in (details available here). Shelter From The Storm National Radio-Thon in Support of the Canadian Women’s Foundation; Ronald McDonald House; Daily Bread Food Bank; Sick Kids Hospital Reading Room.
- Donations in Kind: Here’s a short version of what they state about their donations in kind “Thank you for your interest in the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club. The Blue Jays assist thousands of charities each year and are committed to enhancing the quality of life for many individuals. Every year the Toronto Blue Jays donate autographed baseballs, bats, jerseys, gloves, tickets and other items to over 500 youth-related groups to assist in their fundraising endeavors.” For details and to apply, look here.
- Jays Care Foundation: A link to their various Jays Care initiatives can be found here. They include equipment drives, field of dreams, home run scholars, rookie league baseball, as well as fundraisers and ways to donate. They also include videos of past events which is great to get a feel for what some events entail.
- Amateur Baseball Support: Finally, and most important to Canadian ball players and coaches, the Jays are very active in supporting amateur baseball. They hold events across the country and teams can get information here. From supplying buses to disadvantaged kids in order to get them to games to “Pitch, Hit, and Run” competitions, there are many events that may interest players everywhere.
All-in-all there is something for everyone here. If you think you have some ideas that can make their community outreach better, you can contact their representatives who are very good at responding promptly to requests and recommendations. You can find a list of directors to contact here. With the season about to kick off with spring training and all of the seasonal chaos, I thought it was important to get it started on the right foot and to let all fans, players, and coaches know about the opportunities that are out there for them, their schools, their teams, and their causes. After all, there’s nothing better than getting actively involved in the community.