VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The Miracle League of Valdosta hosted its first-ever “Kicking for Miracles” Kickball Tournament Fundraiser on Oct. 23.
The Miracle League of Valdosta started in 2006 to remove the barriers that kept children and adults with special needs away from the baseball field.
Director and Founder Andy Gibbs was a full-time husband and father when he realized his community was missing something.
It took him and a group of leaders ten years to fully establish kicking for miracles.
“It's amazing. How many people just rallied and said, we need this. You know, we got to have this.”
And with that attitude, the Miracle League of Valdosta created one of the biggest baseball fields with bathrooms, playgrounds and slides accessible for all.
Gibbs says there is something about being on a microphone on Tuesday nights and calling a kid’s name that gives him a sense of purpose.
“We're on the microphone and we're like hey, we got Julie she’s up to the kick now and everybody let's, you know, let's cheer on Julie. And you got both and to them its like all eyes on me at that moment."
For fathers like Stephen Sparks, this program has given his son a chance to hang out with kids his age facing the same challenges.
“It's encouraging to have this environment that allows him to just be who he is. And if he needs to sit down, he can sit down, and it's not a big deal. No one complains there's not the overbearing parent that is overly competitive. That makes a big deal out of my kid that it gets tired very easily.”