National City, Calif.—As San Diego Christian College men's basketball coach Tim Cook enters his second season at the helm, Cook has made a point to teach his players the importance of taking time away from the game, school, and themselves, and focus on the needs of others by instituting projects in an effort to spread the Gospel through service.
Recently, the Hawks served at South Bay Community Church in National City, packaging food for needy families and helping cook and feed the homeless with the Friends Downtown ministry.
"What I loved about this service project is it really helps reach the San Diego community," said Cook. "The church takes a bus downtown and picks up as many people that they can fit on their bus every Sunday and Wednesday. They feed them a hot meal, provide clothing, and they also have 3,800 pounds of food in their foodbank available for people who are hurting right now."
"Something that is in all of our hearts is to serve those who are less fortunate."
According to Pastor Eddie Duenas, who heads up the ministry, the ministry has served over 50,000 meals since its inception. In addition to a meal and clothing, the ministry has a weekly bible study on Wednesday evenings.
"We (the coaching staff) didn't have to do much to prompt the guys to get involved; they just jumped right in. It is a tribute to the character of guys we brought in and the type of character we are trying to develop."
"I have always said that I try to recruit kids I want to be around. I am proud of this group and the way they represent SDCC and the way they honor God."
The men's basketball team will continue to serve in a variety of contexts in the future, including volunteering at The Battle at the Midway Coaches Basketball Clinic, a visit to the Ronald McDonald House, reading books to disadvantaged youth, and a city cleanup day at a local park.
"It really put things in perspective about how blessed we truly are," said sophomore guard Luke Spoelstra. "It is humbling to know that the simpliest of things that we can take for granted can make someone's day."
"It was great to see the smiles that we were able to put on their faces."
To see pictures of the project, click here.
For more information on the Friends Downtown ministry and to get involved, contact Pastor Eddie Duenas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Friends Downtown ministry, please watch the video below.