Hamilton basketball players get special gifts from local church

The Hamilton Christian Center piloted an initiative called Soles for Souls, which provided athletic shoes for the Garfield Middle School eighth grade boys basketball team as well as game day nutrition for the boys and girls seventh and eighth grade basketball teams. Pictured is the eighth grade team showing off their new basketball shoes. CONTRIBUTED
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The Hamilton Christian Center piloted an initiative called Soles for Souls, which provided athletic shoes for the Garfield Middle School eighth grade boys basketball team as well as game day nutrition for the boys and girls seventh and eighth grade basketball teams. Pictured is the eighth grade team showing off their new basketball shoes. CONTRIBUTED

Members of the boys and girls basketball teams at Garfield Middle School hit the hardwood this season with some special gifts courtesy of a Hamilton church.

Hamilton Christian Center’s Soles For Souls initiative provided athletic shoes for the entire Garfield Middle School eighth grade boys basketball team and will provide game day nutrition for the boys and girls seventh and eighth grade basketball teams.

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“We are building bridges between faith organizations and local schools by sending a message: we see you, we see your dreams, we believe in your dreams and we want to invest in those dreams to give you a hope and a future,” Curtus Moak, lead pastor at Hamilton Christian Center, said of the initiative that launched this year. “Our investment is made in practical ways by providing the essential needs of athletic shoes and game day nutrition.”

His hope, he added, is to eventually provide the assistance to all sports teams in grades seven through 12.

“Maybe even move out to other (school) districts,” Moak said.

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Daniella Gibbons, of Hamilton Christian Center, is director of the Soles for Souls project, and said she also hopes to see it expand in the future.

“After this pilot season, we will invite other faith and community organizations to join through school and team sponsorships, providing shoes and nutrition to all our local middle school and high school athletic programs,” she said.

Moak said he has been excited about the project because he grew up in the city and enjoys giving back.

“I grew up in Hamilton, went to their public schools and played sports. I think it’s an opportunity to support these kid’s dreams and aspirations,” he said.

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