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Student-athlete works with Pike County church to keep teammates, competitors safe during fall sports

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 8:08 PM EDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Elkhorn Community Church is working with Mennonite Central Committee to provide cloth masks and hand sanitizer to churches, businesses, and non-profits around Pike County.

The outreach, made possible by donations from FEMA, takes place every Friday as the church turns into a drive-thru pick-up destination for those in need of supplies.

“It has been a blessing to get to be able to provide these items to our community,” said Kristin Overstreet, Mennonite Central Committee Appalachia Program Coordinator.

The church has a backpack program scheduled for September 26 and has been trying to get the word out about the weekly masks and hand sanitizer. So Overstreet said she was glad to see high school sophomore Lauren Hawkins take an interest by picking up supplies to share with her teammates.

“Right now, as kids, we are at home. We don’t really get to go out. And sports is really the only thing that we have to look forward to or to enjoy with our friends," said Hawkins, a volleyball player and member of the cheer squad at Shelby Valley High School.

According to Hawkins, the need was obvious and she wanted to find a way to help keep her peers safe so they would be able to continue playing the sports they love. For that same reason, she picked up enough supplies to share with every athletics department in the district.

“It’s one thing for a high school student to say, ‘Hey, I want these things for myself,' or ‘I want these things for my school.’ But it’s another thing for a high school student to say, ‘I want these things for my competitors,'" said Overstreet.

Hawkins began delivering the supplies to other schools last week.

“It makes me feel great. I’ve never really been able to like do anything like this," Hawkins said. “It’s really just opened my eyes to how much help we do need in our community and how much we can help our community.”

Hawkins said she hopes her peers will be safe and cautious, but she also hopes the fans will follow guidelines to help keep everyone safe and keep sports in action.

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