The Rock Canyon High School boys basketball team came together to support the Warren Village First Step house for women, painting a new basketball key and cleaning up the outdoor area for the families who are staying there.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Carin Kirkegaard
When a project arose in September to paint a new basketball court at the Warren Village First Step (FS) house for women, the Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) boys basketball team stepped up and not only painted the basketball key, they pulled weeds, raked sand, cleaned gutters, and put new screens in windows. Jake Hassett, a forward on the team and a junior at RCHS said, “It was nice to be able to help clean up their home and help them have a nicer and safer place to live.”
FS is a transitional communal living program for women with children that serves 12 families at a time. Onsite supportive services help single parents by providing the tools and resources that empower them to better support their families in the future. Coach Kent Grams said, “The team really worked hard and I think they came away with an appreciation in their own lives, and I really believe it softens their hearts, brings world awareness and makes them more sensitive to difficult situations.”
The team met two young boys who are staying at FS and Grams said, “It was great to see their faces light up when they saw the guys working to improve their living areas.” The RCHS boys basketball program participates in a volunteer project every year as a team-building experience and to give back to the community. In the past, the program has served meals at the Ronald McDonald House and made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless with The Peanut Butter Plan.
Carin Kirkegaard, Castle Pines resident and parent of Aodhan Cool, a shooting guard on the team, coordinated the event and said, “As we were leaving FS and all the players were heading out to their cars, one of the boys turned around and said, ‘I love you, Coach.’ Grams responded with ‘I love you guys too.’ As a parent, that made my heart so happy. To have my boy connected with a program, a coach and teammates with that kind of love and respect for each other – you just sleep a little easier at night.”
For more information about the Warren Village First Step program, visit www.warrenvillage.org.