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Bob Jones athletes give to Angel Tree

Every athletic team adopted 64 angels from the Salvation Army Tree program and purchased items to donate.

A group of local kids will be able to mark items off their holiday wish list thanks to athletes at Bob Jones High School.

The school’s athletic teams adopted a total of 64 angels from the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

Athletes loaded the gifts into the Salvation Army truck Friday, Dec. 9 at Bob Jones.

“We try to teach our athletes a lot of different things, and giving back to the community is one of them,” said Kent Chambers, head softball coach and assistant athletic director. “Many of the underprivileged children don’t have the things our athletes have. It gives them a chance to give back to the community.”

Chambers started the service five years ago. He has made it a tradition for the school’s teams to adopt a certain number of Angels from the tree every year.

Ryan Dowie is a senior at Bob Jones who plays on the golf team. Dowie said the service is a good provider for children who would otherwise not receive anything.

“Realistically, most of the sports teams are pretty well-off and we’re all pretty blessed to have the lives we live,” Dowie said. “Ultimately, we’re trying to help out the people who aren’t getting to celebrate Christmas like we are.”

Dowie said he wants to give underprivileged youth “some sense of what it’s like to receive gifts.”

“If other kids are getting presents for Christmas and you aren’t, it’s a downer,” he said. “We can’t supply gifts to everyone, but definitely can give presents to some.”

Athletes also donated bicycles, footballs, basketballs, books, dolls and children’s toys.

Dowie said while some students requested toys, some requested items such as underwear and socks.

“It really goes to show that they aren’t getting everything they need in order to live a basic lifestyle,” he said. “The fact that you have underwear and socks on a wish list is heartbreaking,  so any amount we can give is great and we are helping out in any way we can.”

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