When the 17 members of Ohio Wesleyan’s women’s field hockey team were given the chance to “countrify” one of their recent afternoon team practices by picking sweet corn for Delaware’s Common Ground Free Store Ministries, they jumped on the service opportunity. So on a warm Sunday afternoon; the team, their coach Marge Redmond, and friends drove to a farm owned by a friend of Redmond’s in southern Ohio to do some serious picking.
As team member Alyse Marotta ’12 describes, the farm primarily grows commercial corn for cattle feed, but also has a small plot of land on the property for sweet corn.
“Most generously, the farmer, “J.J.,” turned this land over to us for the afternoon and invited us to “jerk” as much corn as we could,” she says. “After a couple of hours of jerking—and horsing around by tossing old corn cobs at each other—we had a van and several vehicles bursting with corn, and ready to be delivered to the Free Store.”
Redmond thought this would be a great project for her team to help those in need.
“I gave them the option to decide, also with the clear intent of doing this [project] out of loving kindness.” Bonnie Ristau, director of the Free Store, couldn’t believe how much corn was delivered by Redmond and Company.
“It was a blessing, because we didn’t have anybody bringing in food to us on that day,” she says. “The corn was a big hit.”
Having picked too much corn for the Free Store, Redmond gave away the rest at a few Delaware locales. Passers -by happily took just what they could use.
While everyone was tired, bug-bitten, and sweaty after their day in the country, they felt good about what they had done.
“It was incredible seeing the faces of Free Store staff members as we delivered the haul,” says Marotti. “We hope that the little time we spent in the field will translate into flavorful meals and full stomachs for the families that receive this corn.”