For those unfamiliar with the sports setup at Glenbard West, the school boasts three levels of teams. Among these are the freshman team, the sophomore team, and the varsity team. On Tuesday, March 8 these three teams banded together in an effort to help fight hunger.
“We function on the PRIDE acronym. That stands for preparation, respect, intensity, dedication, and excellence,” explained coach Brian Wojtun.
In an effort to focus on the preparation aspect of that, he decided to bring the teams to Schaumburg on Tuesday to participate in the event.
People from all over joined the teams to pack food for Feed My Starving Children. Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding children in nearly 70 countries, according to the group’s website.
The group teaches volunteers how to combine ingredients into pouches, seal them, and then pack them for shipment. The food pouches, called MobilePacks, are similar to astronaut food and are dehydrated so that recipients in developing countries can use whatever tools are available to add water and heat the contents, receiving a healthy, nutrient-filled meal.
The Glenbard West baseball teams learned which supplements belonged in with pouches, how to funnel them in, and how to properly seal the pouches as well as box them up. The boxes were then shipped to countries where children are malnourished and otherwise would not receive proper food. They met at one of Feed My Starving Children’s permanent locations in Schaumburg.
“The guys were smack-talking each other and turned it into a competition. That made it a lot of fun for them, but it was also very rewarding,” explained Wojtun. “They even had chants they were using to cheer each other on.”
Coach Wojtun explained that some of the players talked with others to put things in perspective as well.
“We talked to them about thinking about this experience the next time they wished they had a new iPod," he said. "That point was driven home when we talked about thinking about how many people wished they were these guys. The team agreed that it was a humbling experience and felt really good to do something like this for someone else.”
When asked how this came about for the team, Wojtun advised that he’d experienced this event previously.
“I went to this about two years ago with some friends and I thought it would be great for the team. It’s going to be a tradition, at the least,” he said.
Wojtun ended his explanation by saying, “This is the best things we’ve done for the whole year. I mean, there’s really no way to top this!”