This time of the year, the softball fields at Government Springs Park normally would be crowded with parents, players and fans, enjoying a favorite spring pastime.
But, with the softball season on hold due to the coronavirus, EJRT coaches and volunteers have set aside their regular spring routine to instead hand out sack lunches, to help anyone in need during the current crisis.
EJRT volunteers were out at Government Springs around lunch time on Saturday, handing out sack lunches to anyone who needed one.
“Normally, we’d have kids out here going through all the activities,” said Kevin Bezdicek, EJRT softball director. “This would be the busiest part of our season.”
Without the games and practices, Bezdicek said those who normally volunteer to coach and organize the games wanted to find another way to give back.
“This is our time to give back, and help all those who volunteer and help us,” Bezdicek said.
The EJRT volunteers brought out 100 sack lunches, with the help of Chick-fil-A of Enid and funded through past seasons’ registration fees.
Bezdicek said he hopes to make the sack lunch distribution a regular weekend event, to help fill gaps for hungry families. Future events may move to Crosslin Park, or other city parks, he said, to reach those in need.
Plans for future sack lunch distributions will be posted to the EJRT Softball Facebook page.
“We want to make it available to anyone who needs assistance,” Bezdicek said. “Anybody who wishes is welcome to come by.”
He said the sack lunches will hopefully help many of the EJRT players, who live with parents or grandparents who are at-risk, and may not have access to meals on the weekend.
EJRT also is offering a free grocery pick-up and delivery service for those who are unable to get out.
“We know a lot of these kids have grandparents who can’t leave the house right now,” Bezdicek said, “and we’re taking this opportunity to help them in that way, at no cost.”
To sign up for the delivery service, message EJRT through the EJRT Softball Facebook page.
Bezdicek said he expects demand to grow, for both the sack lunches and the delivery service, “as things get tougher.”
If need grows, Bezdicek said EJRT is prepared to double the size of the sack lunch distribution.
EJRT softball season currently is delayed until May 4. The program serves almost 400 area youth.