We live in interesting times where we tend to take so much for granted. We always seem to want what we don’t have whether we have a pressing need for it or not. Most of us are lucky enough to come home, kick off our shoes, hug the kids, put on one of our 1000 channels, surf the web, have a bluetooth conversation on the smartphone that we hardly ever surf the web with all the while complaining how we just don’t have enough time to do anything meaningful. Georgette Lee knows exactly what is and isn’t meaningful in her life.
On July 15th the New York Mets Alumni Association partnered with Citi to team up with Habitat For Humanity to build affordable homes in the Ocean Hill – Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The project is part of the Mets and Citi’s “Teammates in the Community” initiative, reflecting their ongoing commitment to be active in the community.
Both Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling were on hand along with 18 Citi volunteers to help build Habitat-NYC’s four story affordable condominiums.
Georgette Lee, humbled by the outpouring of assistance from Habitat and the volunteers, was presented a ceremonial home plate signed by Hernandez and Darling. Lee will be one the first new homeowners when the project is completed in 2012.
Darling a Brooklyn native himself, spoke along with Hernandez, about the benefits the partnership the Mets and Citi have with Habitat for Humanity and how it’s had such a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. Darling in fact mentioned how he along with his family, traveled to the Katrina ravaged areas of New Orleans to build homes for those in need. Darling made it a point to say that while it’s important to help areas such as storm damaged New Orleans, it’s the local surrounding neighborhoods that tend to be forgotten and need help just the same.
I had a chance to talk to Ron for just a few moments amidst all the hustle and bustle of the construction work surrounding us. I assumed most of the questions were going to be realted to how the team was doing so I tried to be original and asked Ron what his thoughts were on the state of umpiring in Major League Baseball today. This is what he had to say:
“First off Major League Baseball has the highest overall caliber of umpiring in all professional sports, in my opinion. They are given the very best training and in order to keep them at the highest caliber there has to be constant evaluations and transparency in those evaluations. What concerns me isn’t when a particular umpire commits an error; they’re just as human as the rest of us.
What concerns me is the unwillingness to consult their fellow umpires or worse, when some umpires cross the line and become argumentative. There has to be accountability no only for players or coaches in uniform who cross that line but the men in blue as well. Hopefully MLB can address this.”
Unfortunately that was all I could ask Ron and similarly Keith who left before I could get a chance to interview him as well. Perhaps its best that way since the real stars of the day deserved the spotlight; the volunteers who gave so much of themselves to help people like Georgette and others so that perhaps someday they too will be shown that good does still exist because there are people out there who understand what is meaningful in this world and what isn’t.
For more information on how you can help in your neighborhood, head over to Habitat For Humanity’s website at Habitat.org.