God's Church in Waxahachie sponsored a free basketball camp for the second straight year at the Waxahachie YMCA.
This year 145 kids were given the chance to learn about basketball from God’s Church pastor Rick Solis and volunteers from around the city.
“We are just staying faithful and committed to them and do what we can to make this area what it is capable of being,” Solis said. “We have some great kids in this area.”
To help get these camps off the ground, NFL player Brian Waters has been helping the church with both the funding and coaching aspects of the camps.
“Brian has done a great job, as always, helping anyway he can,” Solis said. “He has not just been giving to the camps, he has been coaching and been right in the middle of it. That says a lot about his character.”
While Waters has been a major contributor to the success of these camps, Solis said the volunteers are just as important, if not more so.
“We have had the support of a lot of great parents and volunteers that have come out to help and give us their time,” Solis said. “We couldn’t do this without the people that volunteer some hard time to us. Without them we couldn’t do what we do, there are no ifs, ands or buts about it.”
Solis also received a lot of help during this year’s football camps.
“At the football camp, we had at least a half a dozen coaches from the Waxahachie High School football program come out,” Solis said. “The head coach from SAGU, Jesse Godding, and his boys came out. They were all a great help.”
The Waxahachie YMCA also provided a lot of help toward the success of this basketball camp.
“Here at the Y, Tony Lokash, YMCA director, has been great,” Solis said. “He has basically shut everything down for three days for us to do this. He has helped us push this through his Web site and things like that. His staff is even out here helping us with the camp. It is fun to work with people that want to work with you.”
Solis said that his group has been working hard all year to keep putting out these camps.
“This is the fourth camp we have done in Waxahachie this year,” Solis said. “Three of them were at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. James Villarreal and his group over there really stuck it out and helped us with everything we needed for the soccer, baseball and football camps we did out there.”
Even some high school kids have come out to help with the camps.
“Greg Reed with the FCA at the high school, helped me with the volunteering of a lot of the high school kids that came out,” Solis said. “We had eight to 10 senior high school football players that came out and helped with the football camps and a couple with the basketball. We have had a lot of support all the way around. We have put forth most of the effort, but with out those guys we couldn't do it.”
The church did a lot of work to spread the word about the free camps to try and reach out side of its congregation.
“We did a major amount of advertising,” Solis said. “We put out posters and I went to pee wee football sign-ups.”
The camps even touched the lives of kids outside of this community.
“Common Ground Ministries has done a really good job, they have 13 kids out here,” Solis said. “That is another ministry we have always tapped into. We have a couple of kids from the Boys and Girls club. Yolanda Miles with the Promise House in south Dallas, which provides housing for homeless kids, brought 19 great kids over here that just need to be loved on.”
Solis said these camps are great, but they mean nothing unless they can do something that will change this kid's lives forever.
“We do three ‘Shot Talks’ everyday of camp, which are motivational teachings from the word of God,” Solis said. “We are going to teach them about the principles of the word of God. Without that you can give the kids all the free stuff and camps that you want, but the word of God has to be pumped into them in order for them to have something that is going to change their lives forever.”