NEWS | Nov. 22, 2017

Youth Programs families participate in Hoops for Hunger

By Airman 1st Class Allison Payne Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

JB Charleston families participated in Hoops for Hunger, a bi-annual community service project hosted by Youth Programs in Sam’s Fitness Center at JB Charleston – Weapons Station, South Carolina, Nov. 16, 2017.

The admission to watch or participate in the event was canned foods, which are being donated to different local shelters following each event.

“During a management meeting in 2016, we discussed different quarterly events we planned to hold throughout the year,” said Amber Early, Youth Center program assistant. “I didn’t want to do another canned food drive. I wanted to shake things up and really push the envelope to show youth and families that giving back can be fun. Thus, Hoops for Hunger was born.”

Participants were divided into multiple teams, consisting of children and adults. The teams rotated to provide the opportunity to play against each other. There were seven teams with a total of 40 players.

“This event was a great opportunity to get some physical training, friendly competition and promote fellowship between our active duty and civilian community,” said Staff Sgt. Damien Chilton, 628th Air Base Wing executive support services noncommissioned officer in-charge. “The event was a lot of fun and definitely a success. As soon as I walked into the gym, I saw numerous bags of canned goods, a big barrel full of donated foods and a lot of happy participants.”

Early said the donated food items will go to Helping Hands, a local food bank in Goose Creek, S.C. Helping Hands gives families in need the opportunity to come in and collect food items, as well as essentials, their families can use to get through difficult times.

“I have always been taught to have a servant’s heart and serving and mission start in your backyard, your neighborhoods, churches and schools,” said Early. “It’s great to get involved and help people in other countries, states and rural areas. However it’s also important to remember there are people you work with or go to school with or who may live in your neighborhood who need help too.”

This was the third Hoops for Hunger hosted by the Youth Program. Early said the event grows each time it is held.

“Youth Programs has a huge heart for its young people and giving back to the community,” said Early. “At the end of the day, everyone had fun, no one got hurt, we collected a lot of canned goods to donate and we made new connections and partnerships. It was a win for all of us and I’m already looking forward to the next Hoops for Hunger event in the spring. At the end of the day, giving back is what it’s all about.”

For more information about upcoming events, contact the Weapons Station Youth Programs office at 843-794-7809.