Nearly everyone understands that soccer is a team sport. Soccer requires a group of like-minded individuals to come together with a common goal – that goal, of course, is a “Goal.” Or several goals if you ask the coaches of the Spanish Fork High School Boys Soccer team.
Coaches Shane Ferrin, Ryan Crocket, and Nick Parcell joined with the Varsity, JV and Sophomore/Freshman players of the SF Boys Soccer teams as they partnered with LEI Engineering and Tabitha’s Way last Saturday with a singular goal - to prepare and offer free books to children here in Utah County.
The concept, according to Tabitha’s Way Founder and Executive Director, Wendy Osborne, is to “Advance reading in the home over the summer by providing free books and food.” Wendy went on to suggest that along with food and clothing, “it became very evident that many of our kids need books to read. And with little or no extra money to spend on books, we could help.”
“When the Soccer team heard about an opportunity to be involved, we were excited,” says Coach Ferrin. “We got our players together and grabbed the opportunity to look beyond ourselves. These are some of the finest young men we’ve ever had go through our program, and they jumped at the chance to provide service in our community.”
The team was broken into two shifts. Early shift arrived at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds at 8:00am and set up tables and signs, and unloaded and displayed the books for children to choose and take home with them. The late shift continued the efforts until noon, and then remained to put everything away until the next Feed and Read event.
“Yes, the families who are coming in get books for their children, but they also meet with our coordinators to make sure the family has food for the near and long-term future. We hand out vouchers and make sure that families’ needs are being taken care of,” said Wendy Osborne. “We are grateful to work closely with such excellent organizations like LEI and Spanish Fork High School.”
Team captain and senior, Matt Conway offered his opinion, “Later today is the High School prom. I’m glad that I can join with my teammates to do something this important on an already fun day. As a team we are pretty close, we spend a lot of time together. The chance to help others with my team is just another great thing in a really great season.”
In the four hours that the event was going on, players estimate that more than 400 hundred books were given to children, from ages two years old, to kids in their early teens. “This is the first time we have done an event like this,” says Wendy Osborne, “But we think it will only grow as more people become aware of what we are doing. We are very glad that Spanish Fork Soccer is willing and excited to be a part of it, and we hope they want to make this a part of each season going forward.”
If you ask the players, they want the same thing.