The Mission of the Miracle League is to provide safe recreational opportunities for children with disabilities. The Miracle League of Richmond VA is a 100% volunteer run 501c3 charity that has built a facility with a cushioned synthetic baseball field and a playground for children and young adults with physical, visual and intellectual challenges.
The decision to bring the Miracle League to Richmond in April 2005 was driven by my family’s passion for the game of baseball and an over-whelming compassion for families with children with disabilities. Our children at ages 13 and 15 were asked (well maybe forced) to volunteer within their sport, but it had to be a therapeutic program. Our daughter worked with Therapeutic horseback riding and our son chose to buddy with the Little League Challenger team. We fell in love with the players and their families and we began to see a significant change in our son. He was always a sensitive child, always looking out for the underdog, but his compassion for the Challenger players was a beautiful thing to witness. Into the second season, I saw Real Sports story on Miracle League National. I thought about it every day. Unbeknownst to many and including myself, my direction in life was taking a huge detour. In 2005, I left my job and as a family we made the decision to bring the Miracle League to Virginia. As my husband once said, “I began working the streets”, anyone and everyone I could present to, heard about the Miracle League. We followed our hearts and 2 + years later our passion made it possible for children with physical, visual and intellectual challenges to achieve the same dream as their peers—To Play Ball!
To say that there are experiences that change the way we look at life, the way we pursue our dreams, and the way we live our lives, would be an understatement, the Miracle League is one of these experiences.
Our field, located in Chesterfield from beginning to end took 597 days to complete. We began the adventure in April 2005, threw a party for 400+ guests in January 2006, we started fundraising, had two additional black tie Gala events, motorcycle charity rides, wrote grants, did I say fundraised?, built the field and the children came to play in Sept. 2007.
Whew, it was a whirlwind! It was God driven.
Our successes kept coming and in 2009 we built Richmond’s First “Boundless Playground” Our Miracle League’s Boundless Playground provides safe recreational play for children, providing a barrier-free playground area to ALL children, of ALL abilities. It is a place to bring kids together to help develop and strengthen essential skills for life as they learn to play together in an unstructured, inclusive environment.
In just eight years the Miracle League has successfully provided safe play for over 500 families in Richmond and surrounding counties. Our organization has opened a door for many families whose child might have never played in an organized league. We have changed lives. We have witnessed our volunteers walk on the field one person and walk off extremely humble and changed.
People always ask “Where do we go from here? The Miracle League of Richmond Facility is now complete. Our immediate goals are to build the infrastructure. We want to continue to increase awareness and continue providing a safe environment for our families. We welcome the opportunity to share our facility with other therapeutic organizations. We will be collaborating with Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation to begin an adult league this fall at our facility. We will be looking for players 18 years and older to begin play in September.
Our 2015 Fall Ball season begins Saturday, September 12th and we play every Saturday through October 24th. We welcome new players and volunteers and also our fans. Registration is now open! Please visit our website at www.miracleleagueofrichmond.com to register.
We love what we do and we love sharing the story of the Miracle League. We are forever grateful to our corporate sponsors, contributors and the businesses that helped bring the Miracle League to Richmond. We have definitely increased our circle of friends and are better people today because we followed our hearts and listened to God.
Be Blessed! Enjoy the Journey!
Wife, mother, friend
Schedule use of ML Field
Susie Owens, Athletic Scheduler
Chesterfield Co Parks and Recreation
Adult Softball League
Aleana McClellan. Senior TR Specialist