Thursday, August 29, 2013

Building A Community

Hello Augusta Basketball Report fans and GAIS supporters.  For those of you whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, let me introduce myself. My name is Ben Hancock and I have been working with ABR and all things Augusta Metro Youth Foundation (AMYF), which includes the GAIS Eagles, for the past year.  You may have noticed me filming games, working the door at tournaments, or hauling kids to and from practices.  I have most recently been given the privilege of mentoring some of the kids in our program in regards to their schooling.  I am pretty much always in the background of everything we do, making sure that the "product" of AMYF is something that will inspire the youth and parents that participate in our programs.

It has been in these moments of "behind the scenes" if you will, that I have been amazed to find those acts of selflessness that are all too few in the world around us.  You will have to forgive me for saying that I am amazed if you are one of those fortunate enough to have been involved in this program for some time now and have come to expect the level of participation that is present.  You see, I was blessed to be a product of a strong family structure that looked out for one another but my limited time in the secular work force and society in general has made me skeptical of my fellow man's ability to "Do Good" in and of themselves.  I have been part of churches, charity groups, and the like, in which all of them left me disappointed in some way.  There has always been an air of "what's in it for me?"  That was, until I became involved with AMYF and its incredible family.

I was not sure what to call what I was seeing and was privileged to be a part of.  I even remember conversations early on with Chad about the unlikelihood of being able to accomplish the things we set out to do without a major influx of cash paid to outsiders to help us achieve these goals.  I'll never forget what he said.  "You don't know our parents". "Parents", referring to the major backbone of the AMYF organization and the GAIS Eagles program.  I have witnessed first hand these parents, along with many other volunteers who have no connection to the program other than they just want to "Do Good", work tirelessly. Sometimes working 14 hours straight to make sure whatever event we were conducting went as smoothly as possible.  I have learned the word I was looking for that best describes this outflow of selflessness is most aptly expressed as "Community."

This community that I have become a part of is determined not to become stagnant, but to grow and build itself into a stronger, more cohesive unit with every passing day.  My challenge to you as well as myself is to see how we can help make this thing even better each day.  It starts with a desire to "Do Good" and through our actions becomes just that.  We have an opportunity to leave things better than they were before. Are you with me?

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