COLUMBUS, Ga. — There were many examples of how our community reached out to help evacuees from Hurricane Irma. A local volleyball team turned out in force to volunteer at the Red Cross shelters.
On the court, they’re pretty incredible serving up volleyballs. But it’s their service to the community that brought the Northside volleyball team to our attention. A week ago they volunteered to help at the Red Cross shelters set up for evacuees of Hurricane Irma. The idea started with a player named Grace, who caught her first glimpse of the evacuees when she went to the Civic Center to donate supplies with her family.
“When we got there we saw inside the window. You could see people on cots. To us it was heartbreaking and we wanted to go in and talk to people and see if we could do something to cheer them up,” says Grace Snider.
That experience led Grace to call her coach to see if the volleyball team could pitch in. The team agreed unanimously.
“On top of talent, they all from 1 to 24 have bought into our philosophy here of serving others, and they do it on their own without me having to prompt them to do it,” says Lindsay Johnson.
On Sunday, the Lady Patriots made the rounds to all three shelters in town.
“Setting up cots, moving supplies, unloading trucks…because the place we were at had not yet been opened to the public, so we were setting up, moving supplies,” says Grace.
“I think they served until like 9:30 that night all on their own, without me there telling them what to do. It was something that was laid on their heart and it made me so proud,” says Lindsay.
Grace says she will never forget an exchange she had with one particular evacuee.
“We talked to this one lady and her name was Lisa. She had both of her legs amputated. She was sitting there and was crying. My mom and Hannah and I talked to her and Hannah prayed over her. She really touched our hearts and she hasn’t left our minds since then,” says Grace.
The Lady Patriots are trying to make their mark on the court this season. They just returned from a tournament in Florida over the weekend. But regardless of how many wins and losses they rack up. They’ve already made an indelible impression on folks they may never seen again.
“It’s something we’re always going to remember and it was a great team bonding moment for us and it just brought us all close and it made us realize how blessed we are,” says Grace.