Rallying His Team to Help Their Community
Keith Emery, the head football coach at Western New England University, has been working with Rebuilding Together Springfield for over five years. Not only has he dedicated his time and energy, he has rallied his football players to help families in-need maintain a safe and healthy home.
Keith, 40, was looking to find an organization that could utilize his 150 football players to give back to the community. “We have a lot fit people who are good at manual labor,” Keith said with a laugh about his players. “Rebuilding Together Springfield is the best run organization in the area. Colleen Loveless (The Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Springfield) did a great job connecting with us. It is a great match.”
Keith feels that this community service based approach to team building works extremely well for his players. In fact, all of Western New England University’s teams work to help others. “It bonds them. They talk about their Rebuilding Together experience over their four years of college. It’s valuable to them.”
Keith and his team were there to help the Springfield, Massachusetts families when tornadoes touched down and destroyed their homes. It was that experience that truly impacted Keith. He said he’d never forget the feeling of going through people’s homes, seeing their cracked basements and walls. “We saw people who were finding out if they could stay in their homes or if their homes could be salvaged.”
Keith makes sure that his players keep National Rebuilding Day on their calendars. They devote an entire day of training to helping local low-income families. “We work together all the time on the field,” said Keith, “It’s something totally different than football, but they’re still working together. It’s immensely valuable for cohesion. You get a lot out of giving.”
Keith recommends everyone to volunteer for Rebuilding Together because of how easy it is. “Go right up. You don’t need a skill set. You just need to work a little. Don’t be afraid.”