Fund a Miracle League so All Can Play

Elizabeth Overberg

How would you describe your "Choose To Matter" project?  
Our town needs to raise one million dollars to start the Ankeny Miracle League, a safe and accessible baseball field and all-inclusive playground for kids with special needs. My goal was to raise $500. We asked lots of people to donate and 27 different people gave money. I hope that my friend who has a disability and uses a wheelchair will be able to play.
Explain what “need” or problem your project is addressing? 
There are over 800 kids in our schools with special needs like a physical or sensory disability. Not all playground equipment is safe or fun for these kids. They also do not have the same chances I have to play on sports teams. The baseball league would have a safe, fun place for the new teams and we would also have a playground where everyone can play!
What positive change(s) happened as a result of your project? 
I raised $721! I gave the money to our town and they couldn’t believe that a young kid could do so much, so they plan on using our project to show people in our town that you are never too young to help. They hope our project will make others want to donate too so we can reach one million dollars.
What type of creativity/innovation did you use to implement your project? 
We wrote a script to explain what we were doing and why it was important to me. My mom and I both offered to juggle soccer balls as a way to help people decide how much to donate – this made a lot of people laugh but I think it helped show how much we wanted to raise this money. We also asked people to consider donating spare change or change jars – we earned $133 from spare change!
What did you learn from doing your project? 
I learned to get over my fear of asking people for donations. I also learned how generous people can be – we had many people donate anywhere from $2 to $77. Some people felt more strongly about the project because they loved sports or they had a family member with special needs and wished their child could have played. I can’t believe how nice and generous the people were and how much community support there is.

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