Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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December 26, 2013

Sports teams look to help out — Helping out local causes while offering a few good lessons is guiding a movement led by Pauls Valley athletes in all kinds of sports.

Athletes, sports teams and coaches are getting on the same page as students from Pauls Valley High School have joined other club efforts to get out there and do their part in helping good community causes.

Now the push is to expand the number of organized sports jumping in with different types of community service projects that help others.

PVHS athletic director and former coach Kirk Moore says the idea is to get the sports teams here more involved in helping various community projects.

At the same time it’s meant to teach these students the positive lessons behind the importance of contributing to a bigger cause.

“It’s important to teach the kids the need to give and now to give back” Moore said.

“We’re trying to get the kids to understand it’s not all take, take, take,” he said.

“We want the kids to understand the importance of giving back to their community. We want them to learn to give back.”

In the past PV coaches have gotten their players involved in such efforts as the annual Samaritan food basket drive during the holidays.

The idea now is for the different sports teams to come up with their own individual projects to serve the community.

One recent example came when the community was invited to take part in putting up holiday decorations in the train depot area and parts of downtown.

The school’s wrestling and girls track teams, along with students serving as managers, were there to help other volunteers in getting the areas ready for the holiday season.

Another is the Panther football team, which helped with the Angel Tree program that provides gifts to children in need.

The golf team is taking part in the local Coats for Kids program by collecting coats and helping to match them up with the kids who need a coat.

Others include trash pick up as the effort looks to be a seasonal thing depending on the sports team.

“We know there’s more projects out there we could be doing,” Moore said.

“We’re just looking for more ideas to get the kids involved with,” he said. “We’re searching for ideas.

“If we know about the needs out there the coaches are anxious to get their kids involved.”

According to Moore, it was at the start of the current school year when coaches got together and decided to push for an expansion of the whole thing with more sports working on more community projects. The push was based on the idea everyone should get involved.

Another thing the effort does is to help the community see the students as more than just athletes or groups looking for donations throughout a school year.

“We know there are a lot of people who see our kids all the time asking for money as part of a fundraiser,” Moore said. “And we know many of them are always giving to those fundraisers.

“This is a chance for them to see the kids in another way. As much as we get from the community the kids need to understand the importance of giving back.”

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