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Mustangs give The Helping Center some needed muscle

Sam Pearce, executive director of The Helping Center, was in a bind. He had a “big warehouse” truck carrying numerous pallets averaging 1,500 pounds of food apiece and didn’t have enough volunteers to empty the vehicle. In all, it totaled 30,000 pounds of food.

Volunteer Lauren Haltom heard Pearce’s dilemma and offered to contact Marble Falls head football coach Brian Herman to see if the Mustangs could stop by. It didn’t take long for Herman to say yes. By 7:30 a.m. on March 1, the players arrived and immediately went to work.

“Those pallets were flying off the truck,” Pearce said with a grin. “There were sacks of carrots and potatoes totaling 50 pounds each and rice bags that were 40 pounds each, and the kids carried them like they were nothing.”

This was the second time the Mustangs stopped by the facility to unload food. Pearce was pleased they remembered the routine from their first adventure, and that made the visit March 1 go faster and more efficiently.

“They didn’t require hardly any direction,” he said. “They absorbed and learned from the first time.”

The executive director also noted the players’ presence was a pickup for the staff and adult volunteers, too.

“The cool thing that happens when young people come and volunteer is the energy they bring is contagious,” he said.

Pearce noted The Helping Center served 1,025 families in February. Of the 30,000 pounds of food the Mustangs unloaded, 14,000 pounds will stay in Marble Falls. The rest went to different food pantries across the Highland Lakes region.

“The kids may not realize they helped the entire area,” Pearce said. “They touched a lot of lives. It’s sure been great. The coaches are teaching kids about giving back and helping others.”

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