Dispatches > The Buzz


Issue: "Untouchable?," April 7, 2001

With heads bowed in prayer and bold red crosses emblazoned on their jerseys, the "Hockey in the 'Hood" DinoMights are easily distinguishable at local tournaments. Founded by former youth minister John Foley in 1994, the Minneapolis team offers some 60 inner-city students an incentive to stay in school. To participate, players must attend weekly tutoring sessions provided by church volunteers and then pass all classes before attending out-of-town tournaments. Funded by local churches, the program also provides hockey players with free computer training and Christian summer camps. After growing up in a two-bedroom, Bronx apartment with 10 family members, Joe Carroll moved to California in 1963 determined to become a millionaire. But after noticing the state's homeless population and recalling how his parents prayed for the less fortunate, he adjusted his mission. Today, he is a Roman Catholic priest who runs in San Diego one of the nation's largest homeless shelters. "Father Joe's Village" annually offers shelter, medical care, and meals to some one million people who agree to take job-training classes and look for permanent work. Eight-year-old Skyler Wittman of Quinter, Kan., received the Boy Scout "Meritorious Service Award" for demonstrating "quick thinking" that saved the lives of two of his family members. While on a fossil-hunting trip in January, Skyler's father and 11-year-old brother plummeted through a deep ice pond. Instead of panicking, Skyler found a tree limb and pulled out his brother, who then helped him rescue their dad.

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