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Champions of Character - Tue, Jun. 27, 2017

The Athletics Department at Trinity Christian College is committed to making a difference on our campus and in our community. Each athletics team is encouraged to find ways in which they can serve those around them, share their gifts and talents, and demonstrate the love of Christ through word and action. Throughout the 2016-17 academic year the teams, and the department as a whole, took part in a variety of activities in both local and distant communities to fulfill the mission of the College and the Athletics Department as follow the spirit of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative. 

"As an Athletics Department we are intentional about finding ways in which we can serve in our communities and impact those around us in a positive way," said Athletics Director Bill Schepel. "This year each team once again made it a priority to reach out and got involved in a wide variety of projects that were beneficial to those they served as well as to the student-athletes."

Here are some of the ways in which Trinity athletes and coaches served:

Athletics Department

● In early August the coaches and staff members started the year in a service project at Restoration Ministries in Harvey. At the ministries' Gallery of the Arts facility they cleaned, set up art displays, tuned guitars, did landscaping, and completed other tasks in preparation for an Open House. 

● Continuing their relationship with Restoration Ministries, the Athletics Department conducted a toy drive in December. Each team took part in collecting and purchasing toys and dozens of toys were donated to the ministries' Christmas Toy Store that is designated to help families who would otherwise struggle to give their children Christmas presents.

Women's Soccer

● During August preseason the team spend an afternoon serving at three different organizations. At Elim Christian Services in Crestwood they worked alongside adults with disabilities to assemble Hope Packs, at the Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn they help prepared food and did cleaning and landscaping, and at Easter Seals in Villa Park they interacted and assisted children and adults in various projects.

● In the fall semester the team continued their relationship with the TeamImpact child they had "adopted". They had outings with the child and her family, welcomed them to their soccer games, and visited with them. 

● The team hosted a Pink Day event for Cancer Awareness at their home contest on October 8. Along with the men's soccer team they sold t-shirts and donated the proceeds to a friend who battled with cancer.

● Team members and the coaching staff conducted a free soccer clinic for elementary school kids from a local Christian school. At the event the team interacted with the students and was able to share with them.

Men's Soccer

● Throughout the school year the team sold scarves and donated part of the proceeds to a family of a school shooting victim. They also partnered with a ministry in Chicago to distribute the scarves to homeless individuals.

● Team member Getenet Timmermans is working to help start a Christian special education school in Ethiopia, where he was born. He is involved in a non-profit organization to raise funds for the Faith School project. 

Women's Volleyball

● During preseason in August, the team volunteered at Restoration Ministries and created bulletin boards and helped prepare classrooms for the ministries' programs.

Women's Volleyball and Track and Field

● A total of 43 student-athletes and coaches took a mission trip to Costa Rica in January. During the week-long trip, they helped in hurricane relief efforts in which they repaired and built homes and sorted through bags and bags of donated clothing at a distribution center. The team also painted soccer goal posts, fences, benches, and dugouts at a local park. They interacted with the community by helping at a local carnival where they played games with the children and performed Bible story skits, by hosting a community-wide sports night, and by worshipping at a local church.

Cross Country and Track and Field

● Team members volunteered at Elim Christian Services' Dutch Festival, a local community event. They helped with parking, at game stations for kids, with clean-up, and more. 

● Team members volunteered at the Palos Heights half-marathon where they worked at water stops, as course marshals, and at the registration and information tents.

Men's Golf

● The team volunteered at the Restoration Ministries golf outing fundraiser where they spent the day helping on the course, setting up, working prize holes, and running other fundraising activities.

● As a part of the NCCAA region golf tournament the team collected and donated bags of items to a homeless center.

Women's Basketball

● The team volunteered in the Developmental Learning Program at Kolmar Elementary School in Midlothian. They spent time helping in various ways in seven different classrooms and also assisted with as "Walk and Roll-a-thon".

● Team members volunteered at the Alsip Fire Station's Open House for the community and ran stations, such as an obstacle course, snacks, temporary tattoos, and a blow-up bounce house.

● The team "adopted" a TeamImpact child and throughout the school year connected with the child and her family in various activities. 

Men's Basketball

● The team served at the Greater Chicago Food Depository where they help to sort and package food.

● The team volunteered at Circle Urban Ministries in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. They spent an afternoon in their after-school program and ran a basketball clinic for the kids and shared a message with the attendees. Nurturing the relationship they established, the team invited the kids to one of their home basketball games in early December and welcomed them on campus that evening.

Men's Volleyball

● The team served at the Greater Chicago Food Depository where they sorted and packaged food.

● The team volunteered at the Martin Temple Zion Church in their Spoonful of Hope ministry. They worked in the Soup Kitchen and helped prepare and serve 150 meals to the homeless as well to distribute clothing. 

Softball

● The team spent a day at a Feed My Starving Children facility where they helped to package meals and specifically worked with the MannaPack Potato-W.   

● The team volunteered at By the Hand Club for Kids in Chicago in their after-school program. They assisted the kids with their homework, spent one-on-one time with them, and attended chapel with them.

● The team volunteered at Chicago Dance Marathon for Lurie Children's Hospital and helped out with various tasks such as registration, t-shirt distribution, face painting, the kids' corner, and clean-up.

● Throughout the year the team connected with a fifth grade class at an elementary school in Clermont, Florida. During their spring break trip they visited the class and were able to meet the students and share ways to achieve goals and talk about the qualities and values it takes to be a college athlete.

● The team hosted a Strike-out Cancer game in which they collected donations as well as had a fundraising drawing to collect money for cancer research. In addition they raised funds through a home run derby.

Baseball

● For the second year in a row the team partnered with Faith in Action and worked splitting logs and stacking wood at a site that serves the local community.  

In addition to these events many athletes are involved in weekly service opportunities on campus and in acts of kindness that made a difference to their teammates, to other teams, to students on campus, and to those in the community. All of the projects helped to create, build, or strengthen relationships with those in our communities as well on within their own teams and in the department. The student-athletes were blessed by the experiences.