The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

EvCC Men’s Basketball Lends a Helping Hand

January 31, 2017

John Yeager
Kiante Ahamd-Woods assists a volunteer from the Tailgate Program as they provide supplies for the homeless.

It was a chilly day, reaching just around 37 degrees when the food was being served, but the only thing that could be seen from the attendees, the tailgate program volunteers and the EvCC Men’s basketball team were smiles and high spirits.

The EvCC Men’s Basketball team joined several volunteers at the Central Lutheran Church in Everett on Jan. 15 to extend a helping hand and provide food, clothes and other personal items to the homeless citizens of the city.

Under the umbrella of Hope Creek Charitable Foundation, Lynette Endresen, the Volunteer Coordinator for “The Tailgate Program,” as she called it, helps to organize these events. Her program covers three Sundays out of each month, with other volunteers helping on the remaining two.

“What happens is they come, we serve them a hot meal and beverages and then they have a sack lunch they can take with them,” said Endresen.

The line was wrapped down the alleyway and it took over half an hour for all of the plates to be served.

After receiving their meal and sack lunch and sitting at one of the tables to enjoy their meal, attendees got a chance to take a look at stations providing clothes. All of the clothes available were donated with the majority coming from Helping Hands in Bothell.

Another station at the tailgate provided pantry-like items, such as meals in a cup. Toiletries were also provided, a feature that is quite unique in Everett.

“There’s a lot of meals in the area,” said Endresen. “There aren’t a lot of people giving away toiletries. It just helps someone feel human.”

Endresen said her program has brought in programs to help with the events before and also has a core group of volunteers that comes out on a regular basis. “We serve people,” said Endresen. “We welcome everybody.”

John Yeager
Thomas Jones, a sophomore on the EvCC Men’s Basketball team, delivers water and fruit to two young attendees at the tailgate.

EvCC Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mike Trautman volunteered with his team at the event and shared his insight on the experience.  “The first thing we want all of our kids to do is be good people,” said Trautman. He continued, saying, “We want them to grow, whether they change into a good person or they’re already a good person. We want them to continue to be good people and we want to them to be successful when they leave our program in education and in their lives.”

Coleman Grayson, a freshman forward on the team, shared his thoughts on serving his community. “It’s good team building,” said Grayson. “We become more gelled and play better on the court.”

Gio Jackson, a freshman guard on the team, highlighted the team-building and volunteering side of the event. “I just feel like it brings us closer as a team, seeing all these people not being able to have shelter and not have clothes.” Jackson continued by saying, “It just makes us realize how we are gifted to be with each other and play the game of basketball.”

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