Every year, the holidays gradually sneak up earlier and earlier; stores now offer their Black Friday deals well-before Thanksgiving Day and in a blink of an eye we are starting another new year.
During this holiday season, the National Retail Federation estimated that the US will spend a collective $678.75 billion just on holiday shopping. As wonderful as receiving gifts can feel, it is also important to remember that the holidays are a time of gratitude and giving. While everyone has at least a love one to spend it with, we also have many individuals out there who don’t have nothing at all.
While people are out giving thanks and then rushing to be first in line for a Black Friday sale, I find myself reflecting on how my team can give back during this time… Three years ago, while I was coaching at Valley Christian High School (San Jose, CA.), my team decided to create care packages for those in need. Each player would bring a bunch of personal care items/non-perishable foods and we would make enough care packages for each player to take 2-3 bags home to handout to homeless people or those people in need. Can you imagine? That season we made 100 bags!
To put things into perspective, we can all agree - we all live a pretty comfortable life style, we all have a place we can call home, we are surrounded by people who love us, we go to bed with food in our stomachs, and most importantly we are fortunate enough to play and coach this sport that we all love. As much as we all want our teams to perform to their best abilities, to ultimately become better volleyball players, we also want them to learn to be better people off the court.
This season, my 18-2’s team put together ‘blessing bags’ for those in need at our last power league tournament. We didn’t mean to cause a scene at the gym facility – especially with the huge assembly line we had going on in the café at the Sports House (Redwood City, Ca.) We actually had players from other teams, their parents, and random guests visiting asking us what we were making. We are able to shed some light on them with our awesome project! Well in these bags, we had items like: socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, floss, deodorant, foods, first aid kits, and sanitizers.
While having players who commute from all parts of the Bay Area, this is a great way to serve all communities along the Bay. I challenge your teams, your families, to come together this holiday season to give the gift of giving to your communities!!
2017 Bay Area Facts:
Homeless population: 7,499
Unaccompanied homeless youth: 1,363