MW football players lend hand to charitable program
WORTHINGTON -- There were hundreds of boxes to move Monday, and a bunch of college football players were just what volunteers for the Operation Christmas Child effort ordered.
Athletes from the Minnesota West Community and Technical College football team, along with Bluejays head coach Jeff Linder, were at Worthington's American Reformed Church during both the morning and afternoon hours, helping to load large boxes packed for shipment across the globe.
Through Operation Christmas Child, people in the United States and other countries fill boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items and notes of encouragement that are sent to less-fortunate children around the world. The nature of the program, a project of Samaritan's Purse -- and the way in which a group of Bluejay gridders stepped in to help -- couldn't help but leave Linder with a good feeling.
"Roxanne Hayenga (a Minnesota West employee), her mother was helping pack the boxes for the children and asked if we could help," Linder said Monday afternoon. "Some of the boxes are heavy, and we've got some young guys who do weight-training. I was really surprised -- almost everybody I asked said they were willing to help.
"I'm really proud of these guys," Linder added. "That's the type of team they've been all year."
Joyce Klosterbuer, who coordinates the program in Worthington, said the boxes loaded Monday came from an Operation Christmas Child relay center in Storm Lake, Iowa.
Worthington is a collection center for the program, and there are eight different relay centers.
"This is the sixth relay center we've done ... and we've loaded more than 6,000 boxes," said Klosterbuer, adding that this year's goal is 8,000. "We're thankful for everyone and who gives and helps out."
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