William Hayes, St. Patrick Center Team up for Back-To-School Distribution

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Buying supplies for the upcoming school year can be stressful for parents, but thanks to Rams defensive end William Hayes and the St. Patrick Center, five local families can now rest easier.

This Monday, Hayes visited the St. Patrick Center to distribute $10,000 worth of back-to-school supplies to local families in need. The money to purchase the items was raised by a paintball tournament that Hayes hosted earlier this summer. The paintball tournament, which was held at Gateway Paintball Park, was a round-robin format featuring Hayes, several of his Rams teammates and 175 participants. Both the paintball tournament and the back-to-school distribution event are extensions of the Rams defensive linemen’s Sack Homelessness program, a season-long effort that results in a $1,000 contribution to the St. Patrick Center for each time the Rams defense sacks the opposing quarterback.

“The Rams have been a very generous part of the St. Patrick Center,” said Tom Etling, Chief Executive Officer of the St. Patrick Center.  “Today we are awarding five families who are St. Patrick’s Center clients and who have moved towards stability where their families are employed and getting back into the things that they should and want to be doing in their lives. So we are rewarding them with some things that will help their home life be more productive and fun.”

Items donated included school supplies like backpacks, notebooks, and calculators, clothing, personal hygiene products, board games, and a desktop computer for each family donated by Worldwide Technology.

Back-to-School recipient Leo Lasherkins, was grateful for the efforts of Hayes, St. Patrick Center and the Rams.

“I’ve come a long way, I’ve been homeless,” said Lasherkins. “But we just moved into our new place in January so we’re in a good place, and it seems like we’re just getting blessings every day.”

For Hayes, who spent the afternoon hanging out with the families, sharing lunch and giving away the supplies, it’s a cause that hits close to home.

“For me personally, it’s big because growing up I really didn’t have that much. So now I’m able to give back and a lot of times I actually see myself in these kids,” said Hayes. “It would have been awesome if I was able to get some of these same resources, so when you are able to do something positive for a kid, it’s big.”