Wrestling team participates in community service projects, claims it bonds team members

Satvik Kandru

Throughout this fall and winter, wrestlers have learned to reflect on their role not only as wrestlers, but as contributing members of the Carmel community.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, volunteering rates among teens ages 14 to 19 was 19 percent in Indiana. A new federal study shows one in four Americans volunteer through an organization. The wrestling team has taken these statistics into consideration and have urge to make a difference.

“The reason we decided to start doing things around the community was solely to give back to a community that has given us so much. We have learned not to take it for granted and really embrace the opportunity we are given to help within the community,” Cameron Bacon, varsity wrestler and senior, said.

The team has participated in many local efforts; most recently the Thanksgiving Food Drive at Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC). The team is looking forward to partaking in similar events over winter break, including another food drive during the winter holidays.

“We recently did Thanksgiving box donations for families in need of basic necessities. As a team, we boxed up food for almost 400 families in need. It was a great experience for the team and gave us all a good feeling knowing that we were helping around the community,” Jackson Mitchell, varsity wrestler and junior, said.

Bacon said in addition to the efforts made to help the less fortunate, this activity brings the team together in a non-wrestling setting.

“The most important aspect of the charity work is to obviously give back to the less fortunate, but this time outside of training and the gym helps strengthen us as a team because we learn how to work with each other outside of sports and school,” Bacon said. 

As winter begins, the team is preparing a similar event that is also going to benefit families in need across Central Indiana.

Bacon said the team will go to OLMC again for gift wrapping during the winter holidays.

“This time we are going to gift wrap donated gifts for less fortunate families that just want to have a good time during the holidays,” Bacon said. 

This continuous involvement in the community has given these wrestlers a different perspective on the effects of community service and their involvement.

“I think after doing the first event during Thanksgiving, it opened my eyes up to the reality within some places outside of Carmel; I think I can say now that I wasn’t truly aware of that,” Mitchell said.

As the players transition into the winter season, they said they believe that a constant involvement for every sport, or anyone in general can make a difference.

“The contributions that we made seemed small, but after realizing the benefits it has for hundreds of families and people makes you think differently about contributing to those around you,” Bacon said.