Baylor baseball team helps non-profit sort food donations urgently needed by victims of recent disasters

‘A great blessing,” says manager who urgently needed to get food those in need
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Baylor University baseball team over the weekend made a trip to help a Houston non-profit that assists victims of disasters all over the world after members of the team learned the non-profit was in urgent need of volunteers.

The noble act of volunteerism brought members of The National Association of Christian Churches Disaster Services to tears because the non-profit does not currently have the manpower to manage all the donations pouring in following recent hurricanes, fires and humanitarian crises.

Two buses filled with 47 players, coaches and staff made the trip from Waco to Houston on Saturday.

It was a day of manual labor as the team sorted through 108 pallets of donations, including everything from food and hygiene products to water and clothing.

“It was just an amazing opportunity for our guys to go and see the eyes and the will of these people who do this on a daily basis with a servant’s heart and a willingness to really provide for their fellow man,” said Head Baylor Baseball Coach Steve Rodriguez.

Baylor Bears Baseball Team in Houston
Baylor Bears Baseball Team in Houston(Courtesy Photo)

The donations will be sent a number of places, including to help victims of hurricane ravaged Louisiana, those recovering from wildfires in California and earthquake victims in Haiti.

National Association of Christian Churches Office Manager Elizabeth Rodriguez said she only has three employees to help sort the donations, which means food would expire before they had the time to sort it, and many in need would be left waiting to receive supplies they so desperately need.

“They touched about 108 pallets,” she said. " If they wouldn’t have been here, it would have taken at least a whole month to get to it. We cannot do this job without volunteers.”

Coach Rodriguez said his team has been looking for volunteer opportunities for months, but organizations have been hesitant to accept a team so large as the threat of COVID-19 continues.

He felt like the trip to Houston was a good way to make a huge dent in work that needed to be done and the nonprofit whole-heartedly agreed.

“When we left, they were in tears because they literally said ‘you guys just did thousands of hours of work,’” Coach Rodriguez said. “It was just a great opportunity for our guys.”

Baylor Bears Baseball Team in Houston
Baylor Bears Baseball Team in Houston(Courtesy Photo)

Just as the Waco team left for Central Texas, a bus load of Haitian migrants bused to Houston from Del Rio arrived at the facility.

Elizabeth said, by the end of the day Tuesday, they’d have nearly 200 Haitian migrants to help feed and shelter until they are sent on to their next destination.

She said much of the preparation, unbeknownst to the team, was done thanks to the Bears’ help.

“We’ll provide them food and shelter and we provide them a warm shower, a hot meal and all of the clothes that they get are donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints,” she said.

Elizabeth says she’s thankful that the athletes rolled up their sleeves to help in a time when help is needed most.

“We are so thankful from the bottom of our hearts,” Elizabeth said. “They were a great blessing to us.”

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