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Video: Women's basketball volunteers with Salvation Army Mobile Kitchen

August 3, 2010

Members of the Drake women's basketball team, along with Head Coach Amy Stephens, spent time Tuesday morning volunteering with the Salvation Army's Mobile Kitchen in Des Moines.

Stephens,
just two months removed from her trip delivering packaged meals in
Haiti to those impacted by last January's earthquake, was joined by
seniors Kristin Turk of Des Moines, Ellie Ritscher of Keystone,
Iowa, and junior Amber Wollschlager of Milbank, S.D. By its own
estimation, the group fed nearly 200 people.

"It's a great opportunity to give back to the Des Moines community," Stephens said. "Especially
when so many from this community support us and Drake Athletics. It
just makes a lot of sense to come here and do this."

Essentially
a compact kitchen on wheels, the mobile disaster canteen is used by the
Salvation Army to deliver breakfast to the Des Moines homeless
community on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

"We'll
typically serve around 800 meals twice a week," said Jim Civitate,
disaster services coordinator for the Salvation Army. "That's 1,600
meals per week."

The group met at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning and served a three-hour shift, feeding a hot breakfast including eggs, milk and cereal to those in need.

"It
really makes you appreciate what you have," said Ritscher, a marketing
major. "Not everyone gets to go to college, play basketball or have the
opportunities that we've been blessed with. It makes you see yourself
in a little different light."

"One of the best things was just
talking to the people and seeing how happy and thankful they were,"
Turk, a secondary education and history major added. "It's something
I'm glad to do."

The kitchen made four stops on its three-hour
shift, including stops on East Forest Avenue, 15th Street, 4th Street
and a stop at 12th and Crocker streets.

"It was a great opportunity to help out the community that I live in," said Wollschlager, an accounting and management major.

The
Salvation Army is a faith-based, charitable organization that opened
its doors in Des Moines in 1887. The organization has three centers in
the metro area and assists its citizens with a variety of services,
including food service, housing and utility assistance and medical and
clothing help.

"It's refreshing to know that there are young
people willing to get up early and serve others," Civitate added. "We
meet so many young people willing to help out, but we always need more.

Most of what we do is done by volunteers, so the money that's donated goes a long way."

For
more information on the Des Moines chapter of the Salvation Army,
including information on how to donate or volunteer, visit the
chapter's website at www.salvationarmy-desmoines.org.