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Players rally for Salvation Army donations

WARREN, Mich. — Offseason football training may be starting soon. But for at least a day, the Pilots found a way to come together and make a difference. 

A small group of players joined junior varsity coach Rich Roskopp, collecting snacks and drinks to deliver to The Salvation Army Warren Corps and Community Center. It's one of many service projects planned by the team throughout the summer and fall.

Roskopp reached out to the City of Warren to see if there were any programs that needed assistance. Soon after, he received a call from Gail Harding, a director at the Salvation Army Center in Warren.

"Gail called and told me that they have anywhere from four to six homeless kids living there," Roskopp said. "So I asked her what we could. She said they didn't have a budget for snacks. That's how we came up with this, "Snacks for Kids" program."

Roskopp, assistant coach Karl Featherstone, and a group of players collected the snacks, delivered them to the center — unloading them while getting a look inside the center.

"We're going to do this on a monthly basis," Roskopp said. "Whatever needs they may have, be it water, or clothes, we're going to be there constantly for them."

Roskopp plans to take a different group of De La Salle Collegiate players over there on these trips.

"We want these kids to be exposed to how these people are living, what they have to deal with," Roskopp said. "Especially during this COVID situation we've been living in. These kids think it's tough living at home playing on their X-Box. We're going to go see four to six kids who don't have a home. They don't have anything to hold onto. That's why we thought this would be a great opportunity for us to give back and keep in touch with these people."

Patti S., as she asked to be identified, is a residence support staff member at The Salvation Army. She said it can be costly to feed the guests at the shelter, so it's extremely important for the center to receive donations like the one the DLS football team provided on Monday.

"We really, sincerely appreciate all the assistance that we can get," Patti said. "What De La Salle did today was great. It's going to go a long way to help these kids."

"The parents over here at De La Salle have been so amazing and generous," Roskopp said. "I bet I've received 25 messages from different parents asking how they could help. I told them, don't worry, we'll be doing this every month so there will be a chance to help out."

The Salvation Army generally accepts donations from the public, but that is currently on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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