Local soccer club gives back this holiday season
Players and coaches volunteer for Operation Hope
For a couple of Park City Soccer Club teams, making a difference in their community goes beyond representing Park City on the pitch.
Long after their fall season had ended, 15 boys from PCSC’s 2007 and 2008 white teams raised about $1,000 from local businesses, friends and family. In mid-December, they met with coaches and parents at the Old Navy in the Tanger Outlets to shop for clothes that would then stock the shelves of the Christian Center of Park City thrift stores.
The volunteer effort, which contributed to the center’s “Operation Hope” Christmas campaign collecting toys and clothing for needy children living in the Wasatch Back, was the idea of Coach Jason “Crash” Jentzsch.
In addition to teaching soccer skills, Jentzsch said he’s been involving his players in volunteer efforts for as long as he’s been coaching — a vocation that began in 2001 as a ski jumping coach. His teams have knitted caps for the homeless, pealed potatoes at for holiday meals at shelters and collected food for local pantries.
“I love teaching this to players at a young age, that there are kids in their schools and living in their community who are struggling and we can give back by helping them,” Jentzsch said. “My hope is that they will pass this along when they get older.”
That’s how Jentzsch learned the value of volunteering as a youth growing up in Sandy. Raised by a single working mother, he said she taught him and his three siblings to give back as they were sometimes on the receiving end of generous people in their community.
Jentzsch said volunteering can also be a bonding experience for team members who may be shy and not hang out with teammates when they aren’t on the field together competing as a team. “So, we bring them together with these volunteer activities and monthly team nights,” he said.
For Rob Harter, Executive Director of the Christian Center for Park City and whose daughter plays for PCSC, such volunteer efforts not only have great impact on the kids in need in Summit and Wasatch counties whose parents struggle to provide Christmas, but can teach those volunteering at a young age that they can make a difference in their community.
“Some may not know that they could be helping out a teammate and their family,” said Harter.
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