ATLANTA -- 'Tis the season for the Douglas County basketball programs to gave back to the community.
After Thursday's practice, the boys and girls team helped an Atlanta area charity organization to prepare to spread good cheer during the holiday season.
Douglas County spent two hours helping package food for the Atlanta Community Food Bank in downtown Atlanta. The players volunteered at the Product Rescue Center where they packaged food for distribution to more than 600 non-profit partner agencies in the metro area.
"It was just a great opportunity for us to help," Douglas County senior guard Jahorie Copeland said. "It felt good to be a part of something that will help people in need. It was so exciting to come together as a team and help."
While this was some of the players first time doing something of this magnitude, Tigers sophomore forward Amari Robinson said she has volunteered at the school's food bank.
"This was a great experience I think for everybody on the team," Robinson said. "It is always a good idea to give back in some type of way. I'm excited for our team and happy to be a part of this effort."
Coaches Chet Forsh and Hollis Bethea thought it would be a good experience for their team to be a part of the community.
On Saturday, the boys JV team helped with a toy drive at John Thornton Chevrolet on Thornton Road.
"We try to do our part in the community in being serviceable," Bethea said. "It has to be more than just playing basketball. We want our players to be ambassadors in the community. They have to the realization that their are people in need and
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they have to do their part in helping. They have to know the difference between being hungry and dealing with hunger."
In fact, the teams exceeded the goal set by the Atlanta Community Food Bank organization of packaging 10,000 pounds of food.
The teams combined to package 13,400 pounds during their time at the rescue center.
"That was exciting surpassing that goal," senior Ashanti Brown said. "You always set goals but you need to go beyond those goals."
In addition to helping, it always served as a bonding experience for the teams.
"It was an enlighten experience for the players," Forsh said. "I think it will bring them closer together. They learned more about team work in helping exceed their goal."