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Athletes on the Darien boys swimming and diving gave back to the community during the February break as they volunteered their time at Person-to-Person at St. Luke’s Church in Darien.

Person-to-Person is a community-supported agency that provides food, clothing and financial assistance, with three sites in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford.

“By volunteering in the community I feel it helps the boys develop a spirit of giving which is crucial to their development as young men,” Darien coach Liz Blau said. “By doing it as a team it also fosters the cooperation and teamwork that is necessary to reach their goals as a team but will also serve them well in the future when they go to college and out into the working world.”

Part of the commitment athletes make when joining the Wave’s swimming and diving team is to stay in Darien during the February school vacation to train for the upcoming championship season. Swimmers and divers endure three morning practices at 5:30 a.m., as well as daily afternoons of grueling two-hour sets. There is also team bonding with team breakfasts and dinners, paddle matches, trips to an escape room and bowling.

The Person-to-Person programs, in addition to meeting basic needs, create pathways to stronger futures for thousands of low-income individuals and families in lower Fairfield County, an announcement said. Person-to-Person takes a three-fold approach to fighting poverty and providing educational support to improve opportunities and outcomes for youth and families through their emergency assistance, scholarship and campership programs. The agency served close to 25,000 people in 2019.

Person-to-Person Clothing Center manager Heather Coleman expressed appreciation for the team’s commitment to making a difference in their own community.

“It was a pleasure having the DHS boys swim team help out in the Clothing Center,” Coleman said. “Their energy and enthusiasm was terrific. I look forward to them coming back soon.”

With almost 30 boys participating last week, the team helped sort and hang clothing, checking to see that they were clean and seasonally appropriate, while also helping fill and tidy up clothing racks. When the pantry received a food delivery, some of the team members helped unload and stock shelves, and they also helped people unload donations from their cars.

“Volunteering at Person-to-Person was a great opportunity for us to give back to the community,” co-captain Scotty Tuck said. “Everyone had a great time and I hope that our team tradition of helping at Person-to-Person continues every year.”