Athletes travel from Kansas to lend a hand in North Carolina

Hurricane Matthew 2016

Russell Torres is no stranger to hurricanes – he grew up in the Caribbean.

So when his Bethany College baseball coach, Andrew Bartman, mentioned that the baseball and softball teams would be traveling to North Carolina to help with Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts, Torres was all in.

“I felt what [North Carolina] was feeling,” Torres said.

He’s one of 40 athletes that traveled from the Kansas-based college to Eastern North Carolina for a seven-day deployment.

Bartman said the trip allowed the players to practice one of the school’s core values, servant leadership.

Hurricane Matthew 2016

“It gives them a chance to see that the world is bigger than you,” Bartman said. “They get to see what it means to help other people.”

Bethany College softball player Taryn Hargash was prepared for the devastation she may see in North Carolina because she’s witnessed flooding in her home state of Colorado.


Four members of the Bethany baseball team (L-R)  Robert Eakin, justin Bennett and Dalton Bidon at the Westover shelter inFayetteville, NC. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

“If I were in that situation, I’d want someone to help me,” the outfielder said. “And we’re here for them.”

During their stay in North Carolina, the teams delivered meals, helped in shelters and pitched in with storm clean-up.


Team members Robert Eakin (L) and Taylor Nielson (R) stack cases of water for residents of the Westover shelter in Fayetteville, NC. Photo by Bill Fortune,American Red Cross

“It’s all going to be OK in the end,” Hargash said.


Top Photo: Coach Andrew Bartman and softball player Shannon Williams serve DonDra Worley lunch at the Red Cross Shelter in Fair Bluff, NC. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross.

Middle Photo: Bethany College students made the 1,300-mile journey from Lindsborg, Kansas to Fair Bluff North Carolina to help residents suffering from flooding that devastated the area. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross.

Bottom Photo: Bethany College athletes complete volunteer training at the Triangle Red Cross Chapter office before departing into the field. Photo by Emma Kirkpatrick.


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