Thanks to the efforts of the Stratford Spartan Softball Team, over 200 families received the vital nourishment they need during the winter season.
In a recent chilly Saturday morning collaboration with the East Spring Branch Food Pantry, the team organized and delivered food to local families, upholding an annual tradition. It was about 32 degrees when the softball athletes arrived at the Food Pantry. Winne Youngblood, the parent of a senior on the team and who helped to organize the community service opportunity for the girls noted, “They were excited to show up early on a Saturday morning and help out people in their community. It was wonderful to see the girls work together with no complaining, even though it was very cold that morning.”
Demonstrating remarkable team unity and embodying the Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate, the team volunteered their time and energy. Their actions proved particularly impactful during the winter when support is often most crucial.
But the team did more than just fill grocery bags with a variety of food items including meats, deli items and baked goods. They also assisted in loading the food into family vehicles. Thanks to their impressive dedication, they distributed thousands of pounds of food. “The girls did a great job of being self-directed and distributed groceries to 215 families that morning,” said Ms. Youngblood. For comparison, the pantry usually serves between 60 to 80 families per day.
“Serving at the pantry and seeing the gratitude on clients' faces reminds me not only that I may take everyday things like groceries for granted but also how simple actions can help make my community better,” said Jessica Youngblood, two-year varsity team captain.
Coach Karina Scott beamed with pride for her team, praising, “I am enormously proud of our student-athletes. Their teamwork and understanding of community spirit have been truly demonstrated.” She added, “Our passion extends beyond our sport to our fervent desire to serve the community.”
This spring, the softball athletes will once again team up off the field to participate in the annual Stratford Big Day event. Each year, hundreds of Stratford students from sports teams, clubs, arts groups, student government representatives, and more, fan out to the community on a Saturday morning to collaboratively work on a wide variety of service projects. The Stratford spirit and the importance of giving back to the community is embedded in the hearts and minds of the students and felt throughout the surrounding neighborhoods on the Big Day.
Through their commendable efforts, the team embodies Stratford High School's spirit of generosity, making the Stratford America community immensely proud.