CHESTERTOWN — While their campus is shuttered and their season is on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of Washington College’s men’s basketball team have used the extra time to do good work in their communities.
“Because we weren’t on campus and many of the activities that we normally are involved with were canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, I thought it would be good for us to go out and help in any way that we could,” head coach Aaron Goodman said in a news release.
“It’s a challenging time,” he said, “and to be able to give someone a smile is impactful for our team and the communities that we are helping.”
Goodman said he was proud of his players for taking the initiative to get involved.
“We are helping a lot of people and the camaraderie can be significant,” he said.
Several of the players lived off campus in Chestertown during the fall semester when all instruction was online. They volunteered at the Kent County Food Pantry at Christ United Methodist Church, assisting program director Sue Caswell with packing and distributing food.
Other players volunteered in their communities by visiting the Ronald McDonald House, participating in canned food drives, donating clothes to the Salvation Army and Goodwill, and supporting Toys for Tots campaigns.
Some of them picked up trash at local parks.
“The fact our entire team is able to make an impact ... is rewarding and helps us understand that it’s more than just basketball. It reminds us to count our blessings and always live in gratitude,” senior captain Cole Storm said in the news release.
“I’m very grateful coach Goodman instills these values in our team because this will carry on when we leave Washington College. It shows that coach Goodman brings in good guys who are much more than basketball players,” Storm added. “Even though we can’t all be together as a team, these acts of kindness show the young guys our team values and how we carry ourselves off the court.”
Senior captain Barry McCormick went around his Annapolis neighborhood and collected clothes, shoes and other essentials to be donated to area shelters.
He said it was a rewarding experience, and definitely something much needed during these strange times.
“We weren’t able to do our usual community service activities so everyone pretty much did their own thing,” said senior Logan Bunch.
Bunch was one of the players who lived in Chestertown and volunteered with the Kent County Food Pantry.
“Volunteering brings us closer with the community,” he said.
Goodman volunteered with Martha’s Table, an organization that provides fresh fruit and vegetables to inner city families that lack access to healthy food options. He bagged food that was eventually sent throughout the Washington D.C. area.