c4f55987-5fa0-46c4-8561-0f2d1c03df59The TJC women’s basketball team is giving back to the community by taking the time to volunteer at the East Texas Food Bank.

Helping out at the Food Bank is not something that Head Coach Trenia Tillis-Jones felt would be a good way to occupy the girl’s time, but a way of showing her gratitude to the bank for helping her out in previous years.

The Kelly Springfield Tire factory was a job for most people in Tyler in the 1990s, but in 2008, the company closed leaving 400 plus people out of a job including coach Tillis-Jones and her family.

“When my ex-husband was laid off, the food bank helped us out by feeding us for a good month,” said Tillis-Jones.

While singing old 90s songs and cracking jokes with each other, the Apache ladies packed and created boxes for food that will go out to many different programs such as shelters and day cares.

“We plan to feed 150,000 people and we’re real close,’’ said Tillis-Jones.

She and her team go out to the bank once a month for few hours to help out. What seemed like a hassle at first for a few of the player’s, became a real bonding experience for the team.

With their music blasting and little relay races on who can do work the fastest, these ladies definitely know how to entertain themselves.

You hear them almost from the front of the building laughing uncontrollably, singing all of their favorite songs and dancing down the consignment line the ladies created while making boxes.

“ We box food, clean and pack lunches for kids getting out of school, etc. we do it all,” said Tillis-Jones.

They have worked with the Food Bank since last April.

Tillis-Jones feels that this is a positive experience for the girls not only to give back, but also for them to create a stronger bond. She said this project shows the girls the meaning of hard work and responsibility.

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