Bethel athletes are more than just competitors; many are servants of the Michiana community.

During the 2011/12 school year, student athletes donated nearly 2,000 hours doing things like: visiting nursing homes, feeding the homeless, holding free athletic clinics, prison ministry and raising money for charities.

For the second season, the softball team collected items during games. The team picked seven charities, one for each home contest, and fans were encouraged to donate requested items. Once the items were collected, the players made an effort to personally deliver the goods.

Wings of God ministry was the charity selected for the first home game. Players collected 70 rolls of toilet paper, 27 rolls of paper towel, and various other toiletries. In addition, they collected ministry tools, racking up 94 CD’s, 52 books, 12 VHS tapes and 5 bibles.

“These community outreach events are great reminders for our team that we are to be a light for Christ in any way possible. We want the way we play softball to reflect Christ, but it doesn’t stop there,” says 2012 graduate Holly Weaver.  “We want to make an effort to meet the needs of those around us, so more people can hear about Him.”

But this isn’t the only team with a heart to serve.

The men’s and women’s golf teams did yard work, clinics and mentoring for a total of 256 hours, while the women’s basketball team topped that with 284 hours of service doing a long list of things like adopting two families  through the Salvation Army and a child through Compassion. The largest number of hours came from the men and women’s track teams serving the homeless on Friday nights and mentoring students at The Crossing, an alternative school for teens.

Jodi Martinez, sports director and women’s basketball coach, says it’s very important to preach and teach servant leadership to Bethel’s student-athletes.

“Community service is a great way to serve others and not expect anything in return,” says Martinez. “It is an opportunity to be Christ-like in our service and feel the joy when we are done with a project or outreach opportunity.”

Other teams that served include: baseball, men’s basketball, JV men’s basketball, cheerleading, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, tennis and volleyball.