Midwest Finest 2020 teamed up with the Riley House, which is inside Riley Children’s Hospital, (www.rmh-indiana.org), on Sunday, June 10, 2018, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Helping a sick child fight their illness places a big enough emotional toll on a family. Adding a financial burden can make it almost too much to bear. The Riley House provides compassionate hospitality to families of Riley patients. The Riley House also provides a “home-away- from-home” for families who often return to the House exhausted after a long day at the hospital.
After a long day at the hospital, there is nothing more appreciated than a home-cooked meal. The players from Midwest Finest 2020 gathered on Saturday, June 9th to prepare a meal for 50-70 people. On Sunday, June 10th, the 2020 team traveled back to Riley Children’s Hospital, downtown Indianapolis, to serve the meal. The team also helped around the Riley House with general cleaning and organizing.
The Riley House operates solely from the generous donations of the community. Along with the In-House Opportunities of: Serving a Meal; preparing Welcome and Take Home Bags; and preparing Freezer Meals, there are a number of service projects that can be done Off-site. They include: Blanket Making; Birthday Boxes; and Snack Packs.
With the help of Kelly Rosenkrans, Midwest Finest 2022 teamed up with Corburn Place Safe Haven House, www.coburnplace.org, on Saturday June 16, 2018, from 9:00am until Noon. Corburn Place Safe Haven House is a place where families go to stay while in transition from unsafe environments.
The players from Midwest Finest 2022 helped out in whatever way they were needed in the house with cleaning, organizing donations, doing art activities or just spending time with the kids. In addition to donating time and energy, the entire team and their families also donated collected items the house needed for that month.
As a result of working with, and setting up the above 2020 team community service event with Riley House, the reality of the size and effort required to operate Riley House due to the thousands of families going through the doors of Riley Children’s Hospital each year became readily apparent. And since Riley House operates solely on donations, you can imagine their supply of snack foods, cleaning supplies, and toiletry items dwindle very quickly. It is only through the support and generous donations from the community, that they are able to provide a comfortable, home-like atmosphere for the families. To that end, Riley has developed a top-ten wish list of items that they are in of most need of, so that if any club or organization that wants to help by gathering items to donate, Riley can tell these clubs or organizations exactly what they need most.
Midwest Finest Basketball decided they would help! It was decided that the entire club would collect donations from May 1 through May 15, 2018 at all Midwest Finest team practices. "RILEY BOXES" were placed at each practice to be used as a drop off for all donations. This was an opportunity for all teams to help in a very worthwhile community service activity that requires little effort except to participate. Since this included all Midwest Finest teams, we decided to make it an internal team vs team competition to see which team can donate the most stuff, with the end result being more required items being donated.
Following the two weeks of collecting items at our practices, and based on a point-based system based on the number and type of items collected, the final counts are it and the results are as follows:
1. First Place - Midwest Finest Crusaders - 746 points
2. Second Place - Midwest Finest 2024 -263 points
3. Third Place - Midwest Finest 2020 - 207 points
4. Fourth Place - Midwest finest 2022 - 169 points
5. Fifth Place - Midwest Finest Elite - 161 points
6. Sixth Place - Midwest Finest 2021 - 138 points
7. Seventh Place - Midwest Finest East - 82 points
8. Eighth Place - Midwest Finest East - 34 points
A big shout-out to the Midwest Finest Crusaders for crushing all other teams with their efforts to get items donated from the top ten list. When it was announced at the May 20th club workout that the Crusaders were the winners, in true Crusaders fashion, Coach Josh and Coach "T" said to everyone, "The real winner is Riley Children's Hospital as a result of all our Midwest Finest teams' hard work and effort." Class, all the way……
In the spirit of giving back to the community that supports our club, the Helping Hand Food Bank of St John's Lutheran Church, which serves all of Madison County, received a little help themselves from the Midwest Finest 2022 team members and team parents Monday, May 21st. According to Helping Hand Food Bank, 20,000 people throughout the county simply do not have the means to pay their bills and buy enough food to adequately feed their families. Helping Hand is one of many agencies that help relieve the hunger. Our Midwest Finest 2022 members assisted in helping the food bank provide this service to the community.