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Teams of the Week: Bishop Shanahan boys, girls can ‘see’ the value of their eyeglass collection project

Tuesday, 14th April 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 4/14/09

The Bishop Shanahan boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams have clearly “seen” the value in community service.

In recent weeks the Shanahan boys have collected over 150 usable prescription eyeglasses and the Shanahan girls have collected over 50 more. These glasses are eventually going to go to volunteers who will place them with patients in remote towns in Ghana, Africa, through a non-profit organization called Unite For Sight.

For these efforts and several other service projects, the Bishop Shanahan boys have been named the Male Team of the Week and the Eagles girls have been named the Samson Festival Scholastic Female Team of the Week.

The Unite for Sight project provides glasses to eye clinics that use them for cataract surgery patients in Ghana. Unite For Sight also provides preventive care for natives in Ghana free of charge. The liaison for this project is JV player Michaela Dittinger’s mother, who knows a pre-med student working for United for Sight.

“As a Catholic school and a representative of Jesus Christ, we try to give back to the community,” said Shanah

an coach Bob Peppelman. “We want to give our time so kids can learn they are fortunate and blessed, and should pass it along to someone less fortunate.”

The Bishop Shanahan girls’ team is involved in two other service projects, rookie coach Kevin Goforth said. The Eagles players have collected over-the-counter medications for Community Volunteers in Medicine in Chester County. Another parent, goalie Sarah Wirshup’s mother, is a doctor at the clinic, which serves people who cannot afford medical care or medications.

Also, the Shanahan girls have been collecting slightly used clothing for Saint John’s Hospice, a shelter in Philadelphia that serves the homeless. The uncle of varsity player Colleen Holme runs the shelter.

“This is something I look to do in my first year as coach,” said Goforth. “Obviously, being a Catholic school, a big focus is on community service. It’s a big way of how we give back. We plan to do more projects for the community.”

Goforth said he hopes to have his players work in a retirement home for nuns at a nearby church. He is thrilled to be involved in service projects, but wants his players to work hands-on to increase the value of service in the future.

“It’s great to hand out stuff, but I want my kids to be engaged and to actually see the people they help,” he said. “I want them to know how they affect their lives. I think that has even more impact.”

To learn more about Unite for Sight, click here

To learn more about Saint John’s Hospice, click here

To learn more about Community Volenteers in Medicine, click here



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