Last year the student service group called Especially for Athletes inaugurated the first year of the Christmas Meals program. It came from the inspiration of one Park City Family that had organized their own Christmas meal delivery project the year before. The students organizing the project are looking for sponsors, volunteers and donations. Carolyn Murray has this:
Park City High School Senior, Ben Agnew is a student and part of the leadership organization, Especially for Athletes. He and other athletic team representatives meet regularly to discuss leadership. Each then shares leadership principals with their respective sports team.
“So, we have different leaders helping us with the project this year from every sport I’m pretty sure. We have different roles as far as this project goes so a few kids are helping me with fund raising. Some other kids are helping me with getting the word out and making flyers and stuff like that. The NHS at the high school, we have a few kids who are involved in both, Especially for Athletes and NHS. They also do a food drive around this time of year so they’re also helping me along with George Murphy at the high school, who is the boys golf and girls golf coach. So, they kind of, help get the word out to and all their members join and help out with our project as well. So, that’s great.”
The effort is supported by coaches and athletes at the High School. The National Honor Society also helps with the logistics of packaging the meals and delivering them to local families. Agnew said they delivered 425 meals last year.
“So, our primary goal this year is 500 in Park City. So, last year we did about 425 meals. So, 500 this year and if we can get the donations, we’d like to do another 350 to the Heber and Midway area if we could. That might be something down the road for next year but if we have the donations, we’ll definitely do it this year.”
They are coordinating with the Christian Center’s Operation Hope. A Fresh Market at Quarry Village is assisting with the food.
“And, this year we are going to be a little bit more organized with it. Operation Hope through the Christian Center is kind of a toy drive where a lot of families come and can pick up toys for their families. So this year, some volunteers are going to be there from our group and they’re going to have a sign up where you can sign up to receive the meals. And, so hopefully that will give us a better idea of who needs the meals and with the left-over meals we do what we did last year and just go hand them out to who needs them. We have turkey, potatoes, a pie, rolls and vegetables."
They’re looking for cash donations which they’ll use to buy food. They can be made through the Christian Center web site.
“You can donate through the Christian Center, so we have a tab on there. It’s under donation specification. It’s Christmas Dinners. That’s how we get all of our donations to buy the food. That was a huge key last year, getting all the donations and then this year since we are doing more meals, we’re looking for any sponsors. Local companies that would like to sponsor. We’re looking for that too. So, anyway we can get the donations is appreciated."
The program will continue on into the future even with Agnew graduating in June. Jamie Sheetz, Park City Athletic Director, said he’s not worried because Agnew has a little brother going into 10th grade next year.
They’ll need volunteers for Saturday, December 22nd which is when they’ll package the dinners and make deliveries.
“All the food gets brought in and it’s essentially set out for pretty much an assembly line. As people go through, the volunteers go through, we put holiday music on the speakers in the school and we have hot chocolate. It’s very festive. We had not just student athletes. We really promote it out to any student at the school, but we also had parents. We had friends of parents, that were in town for the holiday that came in as well and helped out. It was a really neat experience for the first year doing it on that scale. It was amazing to see how many kids showed up. I thought more would be out of town or more would be sleeping in. But they just kept coming, and it went really fast.”
They’ll start assembling the meals on Saturday, December 22nd at 9:30 in the Park City High School common area. If interested in being a sponsor, contact Ben Agnew at: Benjagnew@gmail.com
Donations to help with purchasing the meals can be made on the Christian Center of Park City Website: www.ccofpc.org