Medford Strikers Academy Boys Step off the Soccer Field to Help Local Families in Need
Recently, our Academy Boys used their break between EDP Spring Classic Tournament games to unite in support of a local organization that helps struggling families. The Care Center at Fellowship Alliance Chapel on Church Road in Medford, just minutes from our Ark Road fields, provides food, financial assistance and essential services to those in need in our community. As part of our Medford Strikers Care community outreach program, the boys collected a large amount of food and other items to be donated to the Care Center’s food pantry, as well as backpacks to be distributed to the homeless through the ’Soup to Soul’ street ministry in Camden.
Introduced by the Medford Strikers SC in early 2018, our Medford Strikers Care program was developed to share the message with our players that, throughout the world, soccer is a game of character and community. Our MSC program challenges our teams to each implement a project every year that illustrates that message through service to our community, locally and beyond. The Academy Boys answered that challenge by incorporating their project into their weekend tournament schedule at the nearby Tuckahoe Sod Farm in Hammonton, NJ. They used the time between matches to gather and organize the donations.
Two days later, the Academy Boys truly understood the gift of giving when they experienced firsthand the impact of their service to others. Prior to their evening training, the boys met at the Care Center to deliver the donations and help stock the food pantry shelves. Once they finished, Anne Simms, who runs the Care Center, thanked them for their help, but also had something to share with them. She told them that just 1 hour prior to their arrival, she received a phone call from a local high school teacher asking for help for many of her students who were not thriving in school due to the lack of food. The students were literally starving and as a result, could not pay attention in class and were unable to learn. Ms. Simms explained to the teacher that a group of young men from the Medford Strikers Soccer Club were on their way with a large donation of food and her students would be fed! The boys were rewarded by knowing where their donations were going and how important their efforts were. They are already discussing plans for their next service project.
We are very proud of these caring, compassionate young men!
If you know of anyone in need, please direct them to Anne Simms at 609-975-9741 or firstname.lastname@example.org. People in need do not need to belong to the church or any church to qualify.