By Kim Miller
Senior Sports Writer

Asbury’s athletic teams represented their charitable spirits earlier this week on Oct. 2, when volunteering their time to help pack food in boxes for children in Haiti during a Southland Church Outreach event. 

During the course of five nights, Sept. 28- Oct. 3, over 1.4 million meals were carefully prepared, measured, and packaged in sealed bags to be organized in boxes and shipped to Lifeline Christian Mission and Danita’s Children Orphanage, both located in Haiti. Each meal contained dehydrated vegetables, soy, rice, and vitamin powder. One of these meals is equal to 7 percent of a child’s daily requirement for a healthy diet, according to Lifeline Christian Mission. 

Each night was divided into two shifts. Asbury’s swim team was there for the first shift on Oct. 2, which started at 7:30 p.m. and ended around 9. The guy swimmers demonstrated their strength and willingness to be a part of theorganization by hauling heavy sacks of rice and soy until they were sweating.

After being asked if he would recommend other sport teams to participate in the event next year, swimmer Graham Duncan said, “Oh yes, definitely.  It’s a lot of hard work but when you get everyone working together as a team it really just flows together.”

Sophomore Caitlin Gagnon also recommended joining in on the experience. “I’d say it’s a really good bonding experience for the team to do a project that helps other people together,” said Gagnon.

The red-shirted official workers were so impressed with the swim team that they even announced their appreciation of them as an example to the second shift, who arrived ready to work at 9:30 p.m.

During the second shift, which lasted until 11 p.m., Asbury’s cheer squad, the women’s basketball team, and both men’s and woman’s soccer teams followed the swim team’s example and demonstrated positive vibes as they worked together with strangers from the community to reach a common goal. 

Gordon Walls, executive director of the Outreach program at Southland, stated that this volunteer event began six years ago, and that this year they had over 6,500 people volunteer to help pack meals. They exceeded their goal of packing 1.4 million meals and are enthusiastic about the work that is being put into this event to help children in Haiti. Child sponsorship is also available for those who want to be more involved. Gordon Walls can be contacted at gwalls@southlandchristian.org.