Have a Heart? You bet! The pickleball club Central’s Angels definitely has a heart for those who are in need. We found out about their service work to the community when they ordered their club t-shirts from PickleballCentral. I spoke with Lee Bergen, and this is what Lee had to say about Central’s Angels:
The pickleball players of Central United Methodist Church are typical players , with one exception: we play for a cause, and in a very small way we are helping to fight hunger in Atlantic City. We play three mornings a week in the Central Methodist Church Recreation Hall in Linwood, New Jersey. We all enjoy the game and each other’s company. Since we only have one court, we spend as much time talking as we do playing. We are fortunate, as seniors, to be happy, healthy and still in the game.
Last year we felt a little guilty about having so much fun, when less then 10 miles away in Atlantic City there were so many hungry and homeless people. About that same time our church took on the responsibility of making 300 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every month for Sister Jean’s Kitchen, which provides lunch for the homeless and poor on weekdays in Atlantic City. The kitchen is closed on weekends, so the sandwiches help folks out until the next Monday rolls around. We jumped on the chance to be involved.
We began donating when we play, putting the money in a peanut butter jar we kept handy. Throwing in a buck or two regularly is a small price to pay for the enjoyment we get out of the game. Then we show up every month to help make and bag the sandwiches. When one of the members of the congregation called us pickleball angels, we adopted the name. We then had t-shirts made to show off our new name.
In May we completed our first year with a total of $1037.00 donated to the cause. We are in our second year and have made over 5000 sandwiches. Central’s Angels also does service in the church like changing light bulbs, setting up tables and waxing floors.
Pickleball is not only good for the body. but with a cause it’s good for the soul as well. There are hundreds probably thousands of groups like ours playing throughout this country. Think of all the good that could be accomplished if we all found a cause to play for and support. I would love to hear from you if any of you like this idea and put it into practice. Lee Bergen
Thank you, Lee, for being willing to share your story with our readers!