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Men's Basketball at Hope Rescue Mission

by Office of Marketing | Nov 25, 2014
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Before a team can pursue greatness on the court, they must put aside any selfish and self-centered attitudes that can become toxic among team members. Sometimes the best way to overcome self-importance is to put yourself in a humble position where you recognize the needs of those around you. The University of Valley Forge (UVF) men’s basketball team did just that when they went to Hope Rescue Mission in Reading, Pa.
 
The team set out for a day of volunteering on October 4 with 17 players and three coaches. Upon their arrival, the men were given a quick overview of what Hope Rescue Mission is and who it serves. It is a Christian organization that provides for the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of less fortunate men. 
 
The UVF volunteers were divided into separate groups in an effort to provide as much work and support as possible. Some went to the kitchen to help prepare and serve dinner to the large group of men who receive a meal at the mission every night. Another group cleaned and organized the walk-in freezer and refrigerator and took inventory of supplies. Others used their strength to help dispose of heavy, unused equipment on the property. The largest task involved the inventory, organization and removal of donated furniture from four storage garages. Previously, there was no system in place for the furniture donations that play a large role in the financial support of Hope Rescue Mission. 

In the afternoon, when the tasks were completed, the team socialized with the residents of the mission and watched the Notre Dame vs. Stanford football game with them. Through this service experience, the team recognized the blessing God has bestowed on their lives and the need to appreciate the small things that are sometimes taken for granted. The experience also showed the players how to have compassion for the residents, especially when the tour of the facility made the team members aware of the residents’ basic living arrangements. All funding comes through church sponsorships and donations with no support from government entities because the Gospel is communicated openly at Hope Rescue Mission. 
 
This season, the team plans to further volunteer by finding ways to donate materials and supplies that will assist the residents and aid the operations at the facility. Jon Mack, head coach of the men’s basketball team, stated “As a team, who just shared this experience together, we have an opportunity to act on our compassion for the residents and workers at Hope Rescue Mission … It will be this season’s challenge to demonstrate the word love, the way Christ exemplified it for all mankind.”