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Peoria Unified athletes give to those in need

Posted 5/13/24

Peoria student-athletes and veterans came together Saturday to help provide food to those in need, in partnership with Borderlands Produce Rescue.

Amidst the breathtaking beauty of an Arizona …

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giving

Peoria Unified athletes give to those in need

Posted

Peoria student-athletes and veterans came together Saturday to help provide food to those in need, in partnership with Borderlands Produce Rescue.

Amidst the breathtaking beauty of an Arizona morning, a profound sense of magic permeated the air as The American Legion Post 62  and the Centennial High School Football Program of the Peoria Unified School District joined hands in a heartwarming display of compassion.

Led by Commander Tom McClain, The American Legion Post 62, where the event took place, has long been dedicated to partnering with Borderlands Produce Rescue to uplift and nourish both bodies and souls within the community.

Commander McClain expressed his delight at the presence of the young football players.

“What a pleasure to have those young men come and help out,” he said.

For the student-athletes of Centennial High School, the collaboration offered invaluable lessons beyond the football field.

Through their interactions with the veterans of Post 62, they gained a deeper understanding of brotherhood and service, learning from those who have dedicated their lives to serving their country.

Coach Richard Taylor, who has ingrained the value of community service within his program, emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the needs of others.

“I am very proud of these young men for giving up their Saturday to help those in need," Taylor stated.

These lessons were put into action as the student-athletes and veterans worked side by side, collectively boxing and loading more than 150 crates of fresh produce, each weighing 70 pounds, destined for families in need.

Freshman Devin Taylor reflected on the experience.

“Today was about the veterans and the people that need help," he said. "I enjoyed showing up with my team to help people in need.”

Among the volunteers stood Staff Sergeant Juan Luis Sandoval, a US Army Recruiter, who emphasized the significance of giving back to the generation that paved the way for future servicemen and women. He expressed his aspiration to continue serving even after his tenure in the military.

“It’s great to volunteer with the older generation that paved the way," he said. "I hope to do the same when I’m a veteran.”

The collaborative effort between The American Legion Post 62 and Centennial High School football program exemplifies the power of community spirit and the enduring impact of service.

As the morning sun bathed the Arizona landscape, it illuminated not only the tangible fruits of their labor but also the immeasurable warmth of compassion that unites generations in a shared commitment to making a difference.

The next volunteer opportunity with the American Legion Post 62 will be June 8.