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Sophomore joins family in service to the homeless

Sophomore Eli Watson has come to appreciate the real gift of serving others by volunteering with his family to feed the homeless through Hip Hop Cares. Hip Hop Cares is a nonprofit organization in Louisville that sets up at First Street and Broadway under the overpass on Sunday afternoons to provide food, drinks, toiletries, clothing, shoes, and more to those in need.

Eli and his family began serving last fall after his mom saw an ad asking for volunteers, he said. She wanted Eli and his brother, Tre Watson ’16, to go so they could experience helping others in need. Ever since, they’ve returned every Sunday that his mom doesn’t have to work. 

Eli said he usually helps distribute food, and sometimes he has passed out bottled water or snack bags as people have waited in the long line. Sometimes he helps collect the trash left from people’s meals. Seeing the great need has had an impact on him.

“It keeps me humble and seeing a lot of people love and respect the homeless,” Eli said.

He also appreciates the positive attitude of those who are being helped.

“They don’t have a lot, but they still show a lot of love to the people helping out,” he said.

Sophomore Morgan Michels agreed. She served alongside the Watson family a few weeks ago and said it helped her be more appreciative of what she has.

“It felt good helping people because you know not everyone is as fortunate as you,” Morgan said.

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Teams start season with prayer experience

For many years, the Football team has held an annual tradition of blessing the players’ helmets before the season-opening scrimmage. That tradition continues, and the team has added new ones, like the Rosary Rally, thanks to the influence of SportsLeader, a Catholic virtue-based formation program for coaches and directors of sports ministry. The program developed many spiritual based season opening activities for teams and their families, and several sports have implemented them, including Volleyball and Boys Tennis.

The Volleyball team this year introduced Dogs with Dads night. The players grilled out with their fathers, giving each of the fathers “a chance to express their love and appreciation for their kid,” assistant coach Zach McCrite ’98 said.

“With the busy lives of both parents and daughters, sometimes it’s nice to know that everything else in the hustle and bustle of life can be put on hold so that the men in our players’ lives know just how much they love their kid and vice versa,” he said. “It’s one of the most gratifying off-the-court experiences of the season for our players and a tradition that will continue for years to come.”

Boys Tennis for the third consecutive year held a Prayer for a New Season night for its players and families. The team and parents gathered and prayed together prior to the first match, an experience that creates a tighter bond.

“By gathering the players & families together for the prayer, I think it helps the players realize that we are in this together and they have a lot of support,” Coach Scott Gurgol said.

Other teams have done activities as well, such as writing letters to their parents and reading them out loud at a special ceremony.

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