Idle hands, says Paul Savramis, can be full of risks. Especially in children, where boredom often leads to mischief. Here, Savramis discusses a few ways the Rising Stars organization helps student athletes fill their time with positive community projects and exactly what that means to the athletes and recipients.
Q: What kinds of charity organizations do Rising Stars’ student athletes volunteer with?
Paul Savramis: Our boys and girls have numerous opportunities each year to make a difference in their local communities. One of our biggest volunteer opportunities is the Long Island Lutheran High School Food Drive. This awesome community event collects food for hundreds of children…enough food to last each child an entire year!
Q: How many food packets were filled this year?
Paul Savramis: In April, we packed over 300,000 boxes of nutritionally balanced food. These were delivered both locally and to hungry children across the globe. Our team packed enough food for over 500 kids.
Q: Does Rising Stars take opportunities like this to open up a conversation about important economic issues?
Paul Savramis: Of course! We have many curious student athletes that sincerely want to know more about the reasons behind why they are volunteering. In this case, the end goal was to help prevent malnutrition in as many children as possible. One thing this program helps teach our kids is that there are other children out there living in a worse situation than they could imagine. It helps them feel like they are doing something for their peers and that certainly gives them a sense of pride.
Q: What traits do you see most often in the children who volunteer to perform community service acts?
Paul Savramis: A willingness to give of themselves is the fundamental uniting factor. As Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out many years ago, all one needs is a heart full of grace to serve. Working with these kids has shown me more than once that those with small hands often have the biggest hearts.