Three days after returning to campus for the pre-season, the Valley Forge Christian College Patriots weren’t running sprints, jumping hurdles or kicking soccer balls around. Instead they were doing something that reached further than just their own field. The athletes of the men and women’s soccer teams, cross country teams and women’s volleyball team spent their day participating in a service project.
All of the VFCC fall sports teams and coaches attended Journey Church in downtown Phoenixville. They were inspired by the message, a message that emphasized the importance of reaching out beyond the church walls and having faith to do great things. It was a message that fit well within the spirit of the day.
The Patriots met with Matthew McNeil, resident advocate of the Good Samaritan Shelter in Phoenixville, to learn about the history and purpose of the organization. The Good Samaritan Shelter is a private non-profit, non-denominational organization that provides safe, comfortable housing for homeless men, women and women with children in the greater Phoenixville and Ephrata areas. GSS also collaborates with local health and social service agencies to help their guests regain stability in their lives and address the issues surrounding their homelessness. The VFCC athletic teams divided the various areas of the GSS home and got to work. The women’s volleyball team worked on the living room area, laying fresh coats of primer and paint. The men’s soccer team worked on the top floor of the three-story home, painting the hallways and stairwell. The women’s soccer team distributed their efforts between the inside and outside of the house. Inside, the women’s soccer team removed an old carpet from one of the bedrooms and painted. Outside, a few of the girls helped with landscaping. They pulled weeds, and started working on a new garden area.
The Athletics Department will be organizing many more service projects throughout the 2012-2013 year. Each of the 10 varsity sports teams will substitute a service project for a practice session at least one time during their season. There are currently several projects that are in the planning stage.