Upper Moreland Swimming/Diving Gives Back by Serving Meals to Homeless

Members of the Upper Moreland swimming and diving team spent their day off Monday serving meals to the homeless.(Submitted article and photo)

Matt Wojcik, Jimmy Ogilvie, AnnaMaria Stylianou, Emily Sanceciz, Misha Davis, Jarid Chan, Mike Soroka, Zoe Valdevenito, Emma Dunham, Olivia Pervall, Karlee Gohl and Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission meal coordinator- Anthony. (Coaches Jess Healy and Melanie Rowland as well as parents Jennifer Sanceciz and Andy Ogilvie also participated in the day of service.)

Upper Moreland swimmers and divers worked hard in preparation of the SOL Championship meet, which took place Wednesday (diving), Friday (girls swimming) and Saturday (boys swimming). On Monday, they willingly gave their day off to serve meals to the homeless.

“The idea to participate in a service project came to us from one of our parents, Jennifer Sanceciz, who was looking to get herself and her daughter, Emily, involved,” UM coach Jess Healy said. “Mrs Sanceciz was checking with me about practice dates to see if there was a day open, and once we realized we had no practice and were off from school on President's Day, we thought to see if the rest of the team was willing to participate as well. I took the idea to the team, I had this whole pitch ready that I didn't even need because before I could even get all the information out, I had a number of swimmers/divers committed to going.”

The team made the trip to Philadelphia where they worked with an organization called Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission that operates out of a facility next to Roman Catholic High School off Vine Street.

“They take volunteers to do any number of tasks that help the homeless in Center City,” Healy said. “The volunteer coordinator, Melissa, set us up with lunch service. After serving lunch, we got a chance to clean up and spend some time with the cooks and kitchen workers, who told us that they serve three meals a day, seven days a week to anyone and everyone who needs it, no questions asked.

“I was really proud of the selfless nature I saw in my athletes to give up their day off after a long weekend of intense competition to give back. Obviously, our main goal is to improve in our respective events and to drop time and succeed, but it is just as important to us, if not more important, to make sure our athletes are good people too. Before we even left the building, we had the athletes discussing having a fundraiser for Sunday Breakfast so that they could send money and resources. This is something our team will definitely continue to do.”