Monday, September 05, 2005
The University of Alabama's senior linebacker DeMeco Ryans had seen enough of the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.
"As students and football players, we don't have a lot of time to watch television, but what we did see of Hurricane Katrina was sickening," Ryans said. "We talked about what we could do to help and Karin Lee (Assistant AD for Community Outreach) suggested that on our off day on Monday, we help serve lunch to those housed at the Recreation Center."
And that's just what they did.
Ryans, who was joined by 16 other Crimson Tide players, spent two hours at the American Red Cross shelter at the Student Rec Center late Monday morning, talking with evacuees, playing with children and then helping to serve lunch.
"This isn't about us," defensive end Wallace Gilberry offered, "this is about helping our fellow man. These people have been through some unimaginable circumstances and we all need to pull together to do what we can to help them."
"We all have so much and we take so much for granted," added Ryans. "When you see people who have lost everything, it makes you appreciate all you have."
Crimson Tide football players who volunteered their services were Brandon Brooks, Matt Caddell, Jeremy Clark, Wallace Gilberry, Eric Gray, DJ Hall, Chris Harris, Vic Horn, Terrence Jones, Stephen Kulback, Greg McLain, Marcus McKnight, Anthony Madison, Justin Martin, Foress Rayford, Freddie Roach, Ramzee Robinson and DeMeco Ryans.
In addition, Alabama football players raised over $3,000 to contribute to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Prior to last week's season-opening game with Middle Tennessee, the Tide football team turned over their rooms at a local hotel to allow hurricane evacuees to remain on the premises.
Chris Harris, Victor Horn, Wallace Gilberry, Matt Caddell, Forress Rayford and Terrence Jones autograph footballs for the child evacuees
DeMeco Ryans holds child evacuee
Wallace Gilberry holds child evacuee" hspace=0 src="http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/alab/graphics/archive_images/21727.JPG" width=432 align=None border=0>
Wallace Gilberry holds child evacuee
From the left - Victor Horn, DJ Hall, Anthony Madison, Wallace Gilberry and Brandon Brooks made friends with Eugene Allen III of New Orleans