GREENVILLE – Jeff Davis knew the moment that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney asked him to find another outlet of community service for the football team what he was going to choose.
Feeding the hungry.
Davis, the former Clemson linebacker and the Assistant Athletic Director for Players Relations and External Affairs said he was tasked by Swinney to find a worthy cause for the team to participate during bowl season and Harvest Hope Food Bank was the right answer.
Clemson players arrived at the Harvest Hope Food Bank in Greenville early Monday morning – wearing their jerseys - and each of the Tigers’ four buses were present at a different location in the area that was distributing badly-needed food items to families in need of a helping hand.
The players could be seen registering families for the food programs, signing autographs for young fans, unloading tables and chairs, packing bags and boxes with food, and even carrying the groceries to the cars of the families.
Each week, the Harvest Hope Food Bank provides assistance to thousands of hungry people in the service areas of South Carolina. The food bank accomplishes this by distributing food and related products to more than 400 non-profit member agencies in 20 counties of central South Carolina.
“Every year during bowl season, Coach Swinney loves for the players to have the opportunity to give back,” Davis said while the trucks were being unloaded. “It is such a tremendous blessing to go to a bowl game, experience a new city and different people. That truly enriches your life. That is what this all about.
“With this community service, we want to show that we are givers and not just takers. We want these young men to give back and be connected to the surrounding communities. In the past, we have hit hospitals and nursing homes, but we feel like Harvest Hope hits a greater group of people and they do tremendous work. This is a great example of what we want to be a part of.”
Swinney said he wants his players to realize how blessed they are during the holiday season.
“We try to teach these guys that they are so blessed, because there a lot of people out there who don’t have a warm place to lay their head,” Swinney said. “There are a lot of people out there who are just trying to find something to eat today. We want to show them that it isn’t just about football. It is about getting out and serving. Hopefully they see what a joy and a blessing it is to be able to give back.”
Defensive back Spencer Adams knelt down to sign a Clemson flag for a young child, and he said he fully understands the point his head coach is trying to get across.
“This is definitely something I enjoy doing,” Adams said. “This is for a bigger purpose, really. Sometimes we feel like our problems are huge and overwhelming, but then you come out here and you realize what is going on in the real world. We are blessed. You give a helping hand, and you never know who you are helping and what they can become.”