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Local Athletes Line up to Help Children 

Each year, The Maine Children’s Home in Waterville makes Christmas brighter for hundreds of kids. This year, nearly sixteen-hundred children will receive gifts, but first the toys need to be packed and shipped to armories in Waterville and Augusta. Cristen Sawyer is in charge of making sure each present makes it to its rightful place, however this year she found herself in a bind. “Six days ago the organization that normally would transport our boxes backed out,” she says. That’s when Sawyer made a call to Thomas College baseball coach Greg King. Finals week and all, more than a dozen athletes from Thomas College pitched in to help stack hundreds of boxes into UHaul trucks and then deliver them. Among the volunteers is Thomas Junior, Daniel Brannigan. Brannigan says it’s teamwork like this that brings communities together, which really makes a difference in peoples lives. “My family came under some unfortunate means a little while ago and a family helped us out so I understand what it’s like to need some help. When somebody you don’t know steps up and helps out you can’t help, but feel like you need to give back,” he says. Thomas baseball coach, Greg King hopes his athletes will continue to help those who need even after their college years. “One of the things we want to try and get them to have out of their athletic experience is the opportunity to give back and this is the perfect opportunity to do it around Christmas time,” King says. Folks from across the state have donated toys, clothing and other items to the Maine Children’s Home. Sawyer estimates a total of a quarter-million dollars worth of donations have been collected. All donations will be distributed to families this week.