Our umpires truly go the extra mile for kids.
During the off-season, MLB umpire Chris Segal and Brennan Miller, a call-up umpire who has officiated 36 MLB games, participated in half marathons to raise money for our UMPS CARE Charities hospital program.
This morning, Chris and Brennan got to see their hard work and training pay off in the smiles of children at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, our umpires could not visit the kids in person, but Chris, Brennan and Triple-A umpire Ryan Wills joined a Zoom conversation and answered questions from the kids. The kids were able to call in from their bedside and watch the conversations on TVs and computers in their rooms.
UMPS CARE shipped 75 Build-A-Bear furry friends and outfits, in addition to all-new UMPS CARE activity books and crayons to keep the kids busy during their hospital stay. UMPS CARE also provided gift cards for the Child Life staff at the hospital and our friends at Ump-Attire.com shipped face masks for the hospital staff.
“As soon as I found out we were able to continue this program this season, I told the staff at UMPS CARE Charities I wanted to participate,” Chris said. “So much has been taken away from these kids and families, and we are excited we can give back and bring smiles to their faces.”
Minutes later, Chris told us that Brennan and Ryan were on board to join, too.
For kids who are more isolated than ever, this day was a welcome change.
One mother of a child who participated in the event wrote us, “I just want to say thank you again to your organization for putting a smile on my baby’s face!”
Another child, Hayden, was being treated at Johns Hopkins last year when our MLB umpires visited (below right). Sadly, he is back in the hospital again undergoing treatment. But for Hayden and his mom, Kristina, being able to share the experience of being with the umpires again – even if it was virtually this time – was a huge hit.
“His face lit right up,” Kristina told us. “Thank you so much for providing the bears and putting a smile on our guy’s face!”
Today marked the second virtual hospital visit of the season for UMPS CARE. Our first visit was at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago in June. to date, UMPS CARE has distributed more than 16,000 Build-A-Bears to kids undergoing treatment in hospitals in MLB cities across the country and in Canada.
To learn more about this program or how to sponsor future visits, please email jenn@UmpsCare.com