Changing perspectives and more
By NG3 staff
Far too often, high school students feel the world revolves around them. Part of the mission of NG3 is to lead these young men and women to serve our communities and show how gratifying a selfless life can be. This is why Community is one of the three C’s of NG3. At South Gwinnett High School, NG3 staff director Michael Woelfl leads his huddle group to invest in the life of a fellow student affectionately known as “Touchdown Richard”, at least until baseball season, when he becomes, “Home-run Richard”.
For over a year, Woelfl and his huddle group take time to go to Richard’s home and do what may seem very simple to most of us, but has proven invaluable to all parties involved…they hang out. Usually they end up watching sports on TV, including an array of SGHS games Richard has recorded. ‘What’s the big deal’ you ask? Richard has special needs and wants nothing more than to simply be “one of the guys” with his favorite football and baseball players. To give us a glimpse of the special bond being created, Woelfl shared the following story that happened during the Christmas season:
“Since he is so special to all of us, as Christmas time approached, my guys wanted to get him some special gifts, so we planned to meet at Wal-Mart after school one day to shop and buy him Christmas presents. We got ideas from his parents, and the guys went crazy going up and down the aisles. They would have bought everything if they could have. The ones who could, gave some money, so they got to experience what it means to give of their own treasure for the benefit of someone else. That was a great day in and of itself.
We picked a Saturday and brought pizza, candy, cookies and our presents with us to hang out with Touchdown Richard and celebrate with a Christmas party! About halfway through our time there, we decided to break out the gifts. It was so much fun watching the gifts being opened. We had gotten him a Falcons calendar, some posters, and a UGA shirt, but his favorite was definitely the football. We wanted it to be extra special for our friend, so one of the ideas was to have all the guys sign it. It turned out to be the best idea. His parents have since said that he takes that ball everywhere and would definitely bring it to the games next year (he wants the entire team to sign it). He really loved all that we got him, and both Richard and his parents were very appreciative of what was given.
My favorite part was discussing the night with my guys afterward. The discussions revolved around all the stuff that they take for granted, and how many times they don’t appreciate the small or the big things that they have and are given in their lives. It was good for them to see this student who was given stuff that most would say wasn’t that big a deal, but was super-excited about everything that he got. He loved every second of it!”
Every one of the high schoolers from the NG3 huddle group experienced something that was a little out of the ordinary for them. They experienced what it means to change their focus from themselves to someone else. In doing so, they not only brought unbridled joy to the life of a newfound friend, but also gained a new perspective on living a selfless life.
Would you like to find out more about how NG3 is changing perspectives, lives, and communities? Please visit ng3.org.
Together....we can Be the difference!
Interested in finding out more about what NG3 is doing to make a difference in the Next Generation or how you can help? Go to http://www.ng3.co. NG3 is a non-profit 501(c)3 independently funded by donors like you!!
P.O. Box 1429
Snellville, GA 30078
Thomas Jannett - Chaplain, Community Coach
Javier Muñoz - Character Coach, Community Coach
Matt Williams - NG3 Director Chaplain, Community Coach
Dustin Mattox - Chaplain, Community Coach
South Gwinnett HS
Michael Woelfl - Chaplain
NG3 stands for Next Generation: Character Community Change. Their goal is to develop men and women of character to create a positive change in our communities. NG3 works directly with student athletes in high schools, teaching and practicing the importance of strong core values like responsibility, humility, integrity and honesty. The staff of NG3 works along side the coaches employed by the school, providing a constant presence of reliability and service.