OAKWOOD -- The Truett-McConnell College women's soccer team does more than play soccer and study. In the off-season the team meets the needs of others.
The Lady Bears joined forces with a ministry of Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in Oakwood and recently spent two successive weekends delivering food and playing with children in low-income neighborhoods.
The team assembled sack lunches consisting of a sandwich, chips, and fruit snacks. The Lady Bears then split into two teams. One ministered in a community where the homes had no electricity, and were inhabited by large, extended families -- many with only two rooms for living space.
"The best part about working with the families was the happiness and gratitude we got to see in their eyes," said Mallory Reynolds, freshman from Dallas, Texas. "To see a sincere smile come across their face as we gave them food and spent time with them reminds me of how much we take for granted."
The second group ministered to men and women dealing with addictions.
At day's end, the women distributed almost 200 sack lunches.
"It was a complete eye-opener for me to see that poverty level and those ministry opportunities in our own back yards," said Meagan Taylor, sophomore from Cadwell, Ga. "It was awesome because we were able to share Christ in a tangible way with all of the precious families, not just with words but with actions."
The women's soccer team plans a return visit to this area. To support the effort until their return, the Lady Bears donated $200 to assist the ministry's ongoing needs.
Truett-McConnell College's Athletic Director, Dr. Stacy Hall, said that every TMC athlete will spend two hours per semester in different types of service. "That amounts to almost 900 hours per year our athletes will be helping our community," Hall said. "At Truett-McConnell, our desire is to develop the whole athlete -- academically and physically, and also spiritually."
Hall, who became TMC's A.D. on Jan. 1 of this year, said that, though the athletic teams will be ministering in a variety of regions across Georgia, the predominance of their service will occur in White County.