by Sara Holthouse
January 5, 2023
Falconer Basketball Team Helps St. Susan Center
Members of Falconer Central School’s boys basketball team recently volunteered at St. Susan Center in Jamestown to help inventory the items from the Holiday Haul fundraiser.
The team spent the morning of Dec. 28 labeling and sorting some of the items collected from Dec. 15, 16, and 17. Cherie Rowland, St. Susan Center executive director, said the team was a huge help.
“They were amazing,” Rowland said. “The Falconer Central School system and the team have been very good to us. We had 18,000 pounds brought in from the Holiday Haul that were taken to Jamestown Cycle Shop. The team came in on the 28th and sorted all of the items for our inventory.”
Rowland said the team dated all the cans and items and put them away.
“Last year we had 9,000 pounds collected,” Rowland said. “It took us two and a half weeks to put it away. This year with the team’s help, we put it all away in about a day and a half.”
The food collected by the Holiday Haul and sorted by the basketball team will help to feed the guests through April.
One of the team’s captains, Jack Shea, said the team was ready to help out.
“We had a connection as one of our coaches, Bob Goold is on the board at St. Susan’s,” Shea said. “He was in contact with the director, (Rowland), there and that’s who guided us and gave the Basketball team instructions on what we had to do that morning. We were excited when coach told us that we would be doing that for St. Susan’s as any chance to help serve our community is truly fulfilling.”
Shea said that the team was given instructions on what to do when they arrived.
“The director, (Rowland), told us that she needed us to date cans and non perishable food by writing the expiration date on the top of the can or food,” Shea said. “These foods were then to be sorted accordingly in their respective sections. There were about 15 different sections for each different type of food that St. Susan’s received. Once a section was full we then wheeled them up to St Susan’s food pantry. Once certain foods filled up in St Susan’s food pantry we set aside the extras to be delivered to local food banks in the area.”
The team’s coach and St. Susan’s board member, Bob Goold, said the team wanted to give back and thought that helping at St. Susan was a good way to do that.
“We thought during the holiday season it was good to give back to the community,” Goold said. “We knew St. Susan’s had a need after the Holiday Haul. We spent about three and a half hours there, and everyone had a great time.”
Shea agreed with Goold that the team had a great time, saying that they worked from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., had lunch as a team and then went to basketball practice.
Additionally, Shea said that volunteering in the local community is important at places like St. Susan because they always need help.
“Volunteering is extremely important in the community because places like St. Susan’s can use the help,” Shea said. “They actually need the help when it comes to volunteers. I talked to Bob Goold and he said that there is one full time employee and four part time employees, joined alongside many volunteers, for example, the cooks in the kitchen are all volunteers. For the operation to run for St. Susan’s, volunteer work is necessary.”
Shea added that volunteering made the team see the importance of it as well.
“It’s also great for us,” Shea said. “It made us realize how just the small amount of time that we gave to St. Susan’s, was the amount of work that we were able to take off for others. It also made us see the importance of getting involved and helping the people in need in our community here.”
For Shea, he is eager to volunteer again and said that the team will definitely volunteer again as well, including two teammates who were unfortunately not able to help this time because of being sick.
The work that the team did was made even more important by how much it was appreciated by everyone at St. Susan, Shea said.
“I just want people to know how important the volunteer work we did was for St. Susan’s,” Shea said. “I want people to know how appreciative everyone at St. Susan’s was — the workers, the cooks and even the people that come into St Susan’s for lunch. When they asked us why we were there and we told them, some were very thankful. They told us how important St Susan’s is for them, so they thought it was very kind of us to do what we did.”
Shea encouraged everyone to volunteer and to be more involved in the community in any way possible.
“My overall message is that we need to be more involved and help out our community any chance that we can,” Shea said. “Places like St. Susan’s would love your help. Whether it’s a monetary donation or a donation of your time, anything helps. That’s what St. Susan’s runs off of, donations and grants, that’s it.”