POWAY, Calif. – At Poway High School, the Titans football team always feels the need to do more.
And that expands beyond the practice field.
“Getting the entire team closer together, getting the community closer together, building that friendship, building that sense of community everywhere is wildly beneficial,” senior linebacker Tim Pereira said.
When the players learned they had schoolmates who deal with homelessness on a daily basis, they responded.
“Kinda hurts a little bit, knowing that there are teens possibly my age or even younger who aren’t in a very stable situation right now,” said Maddox Ditalo, a senior receiver and defensive back. “That also motivated me to help out with this program and honestly I thought it was an act of God for me, not only from the school. But I thought God set down on me and say, ‘You need to help out. Do what you can.’”
The players collected daily necessities like toothpaste, soap, shampoo and towels – boxed them up – and handed them off to ‘Youth in Transition’ a program that helps hundreds of underserved teens dealing with homelessness or housing instability in the Poway Unified School District.
“We didn’t know who they were, but they are inner-mixed in our school and some of them could be our friends.” senior quarterback Dylan Curry said. “It leaves a good feeling in your heart to do something great for the community. And that made us strive to make our community a better place.”
“Anytime you get a chance to change your perspective, especially as a young person, your eyes are open to how grateful you can be on a daily basis and how important it is to look our for all the people in your community,” JV head coach Tahj Haywood said. “It’s just their opportunity to gain a better perspective on what it means to help out those in need and then to be able to deliver on that.”
The Titans also added messages of support and hope, and they hope their efforts lead future classmates, and other schools to follow along.
“I hope other school districts join in,” Curry said. “It’s a great cause and I think it will lead to great things in the community and throughout San Diego.”