July 19, 2012
View photos of the men's basketball team at Andre House
Standing seven feet tall, Jordan Bachynski is someone you would expect to be a great shot blocker, but the ASU center showed off his humanitarian skills while visiting the André House in Phoenix Wednesday afternoon with several of his teammates and members of the Sun Devil men's basketball support staff.
Bachynski, who returned from a LDS Mission in Miami in May 2010, is no stranger to helping those in need.
"One of the tough parts about life today is people don't really appreciate what they have," offered Bachynski. "Coming to places like this just puts it in perspective."
The André House has been part of downtown Phoenix's Capital Mall District for nearly 30 years and offers services that focus on meeting the immediate, basic needs of those who walk through their doors each day.
Each night, at least 25 volunteers are needed to accommodate the over 600 meals per night served to those in need.
"It is humbling to see how grateful they are for what we have done," said Bachynski. "For a lot of them this is the only meal they get and the appreciation you see on their faces makes it all worth it."
Director, Fr. Eric Schimmel, C.S.C. has been with André House for four years and is overwhelmed by the incredible community effort to assist those who are in dire straights. "It is wonderful to see different people from different parts of the community taking time out of their schedule to help other people that are in need," Father Eric stated. "And at the end of the night, realizing, there is not much difference between us."
For Mesa native Jahii Carson, giving back to the community that has supported him has even deeper meaning.
"Being a hometown guy it is important for myself to help in this community and being down here at André House is a humbling experience," said Carson. "They do great work. I had some adversity to fight through last years but it is nothing like what the people here are going through. We are glad to help in any way we can."
Wednesday marked the second recent visit to André House by the men's basketball team and while their duties varied from cutting fruit to washing down tables and chairs, the experience provides a rare bonding session.
"It is great, to be here with my teammates," said Bachynski. "It's a different way to get to know them better and I think it translates to better chemistry on the floor as well."
If you are interested in volunteering at the André House, you can contact the Volunteer Coordinator,Theresa Hipp at email@example.com or by calling 602-255-0580 ext. 302.