The Santa Rosa Men's Soccer team volunteered at the Calistoga fairgrounds last weekend to help families displaced by the recent forest fires. They arrived at early Sunday morning to an eye-opening situation. They saw endless tents used as makeshift homes where many families had to live while their homes are being repaired and rebuilt.
The team, who arrived with many supplies such as bottled water, clothes, and tents; were immediately divided up into groups which determined where they would volunteer during the day. Half of the team went and helped sort through huge amounts of donated clothes and toys, and also helped pack up bags of groceries for families to take with them. The other half of the team went and helped with the animals, unloading trucks of hay and spreading the hay. Towards the end of the experience the team served lunch to many families and individuals. They also putting together over 200 bag lunches for others as well.
The team learned that doing anything, even the small things, can make big a difference–anything from handing a cookie to a little boy, to helping a mom look for baby clothes. The team was constantly thanked throughout the day. Many of the players were humbled by the experience. The team ended the day with a group picture with one of the head volunteers and a man who had a great sense of humor and style. Most importantly the team ended the day with an understanding of service and putting others before themselves.
Head coach Marty Kinahan described the experience with his team as, "one of [his] proudest moments as a coach."