Baseball Blessing Boxes

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Photo by: Coach Smith

Talking smack and community service doesn’t usually happen at the same time, but throw some friendly competition into the mix, and AHS athletes will provide plenty of both.

Baseball coach Stephen Smith set up this year’s blessing box donation drive to maintain the culture of AHS athletic community service. Baseball and their various contenders compete by attempting to have more players donate essentials such as canned goods, toilet paper, paper towels, and plates to multiple handmade drive stations within city limits.

Their recent contest with volleyball was covered by Fox 4 News on Sept. 23 for Clarice Tinsley’s “Here’s To You” segment. To boost participation, an element of competition was added, resulting in baseball challenging volleyball to see which team had more participants. Following their win over volleyball, baseball challenged softball, and their competition is ongoing.

The sentiment of friendly trash talk was inevitable from the nature of the competition’s conception.

“I mean, softball doesn’t stand a chance.” senior baseball player Parker Pate said.

Giving back by utilizing blessing box donations was already popular with the team before Smith decided to challenge the other teams.

“It was great, you know?” senior baseball player Zach Robinson said. “Getting to give back to the community with help from my friends.”

Smith explained that when he added the September volleyball competition, although they were already motivated due to the established culture, it put a bit more “heat” on it.

“When I first started talking about it they were all in,”Smith said. “They already know how we’re one of the biggest contributors to the community.”

Volleyball Coach Elizabeth Snyder would claim her team shares a similar culture of community service.

“It was a way for us to try and get the girls involved and show them how to help in the community, and it turned out to be a bigger deal than they realized, and saw how much they were helping the community,” Snyder said.

Both Snyder and Smith said that they were struggling with finding community outreach methods, explaining that their usual outreach was unavailable and even Azle Manor has been closed to visitors.

“With COVID, Servolution isn’t doing anything in the fall, so that’s why we did the canned good drive with Blessing Boxes,” Smith said.

Blessing Boxes are a worldwide phenomenon of hand-built stations where anyone can donate food and essentials to people in their community.

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