Gamecocks hand out food to homeless

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Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 2:38 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - At least 10 University of South Carolina (USC) football players worked in the kitchen of a homeless shelter Thursday night.

The Oliver Gospel Mission, located on Taylor Street for 134 years strong, is a faith-based shelter seeking to transform the lives of homeless men and women.

The non-profit feeds 150 people every day, and Thursday was no exception.

“Tonight we’re working together… and that’s what makes this community exciting. When we can come together, pour back into others and make their lives different,” said Travis McNeal, Executive Director for Oliver Gospel.

McNeal played piano as the Gamecocks worked alongside former shelter residents to distribute food to those less fortunate.

“Not only does it put everything into perspective, it makes you grateful for everything you have,” said Alex “Boogie” Huntley, a defensive lineman for the USC football team.

Huntley volunteered alongside his Gamecock brothers to feed the community as well as distribute stocking stuffers and gifts provided by donors.

The people there were not only grateful but prideful of the town they call home.

“I love the Carolina Gamecocks, man. I love them… that’s my team,” said Jeremiah Thomas, a frequent visitor at Oliver Gospel.

Thompson has lived in Columbia his whole life and applauds Oliver Gospel for its commitment to the homeless population. The 62-year-old considers the Gamecocks an extension of the Oliver Gospel family.

“Clemson is cool, but they’re not my team. I’m staying with the Carolina Gamecocks… Honestly, they’re my family. Because I love Columbia so much. Columbia is my town.”

WIS spoke with an additional Oliver Gospel guest who is equally proud of his home team.

“I love Gamecocks. Ever since 2005, I’ve been a Gamecocks fan,” said James Nabors, a Connecticut native who moved to the Midlands 17 years ago.

Nabors recognized several of Thursday’s volunteers from TV and delivered the following message personally: “Thank you for beating Clemson.”

Oliver Gospel Mission is asking for your support to continue its programs. You can donate here.

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