Known for its maple syrup and brutal winter weather, the state of Vermont is home base for Melissa Crossman: The only FCA staff member in the area. Melissa is passionate about meeting new people, working hard, and gaining momentum in her region, but admits that it can be tough for her to navigate through obstacles on her own. While there aren’t any staff members to help guide Melissa in Vermont, one family in particular has come alongside her to reach coaches and athletes for Christ.
“Susie Connerty runs a girls huddle in the North American Hockey Academy,” says Melissa. “She has volunteered with FCA for about eleven years now and loves on those girls so much. They come from all over the country to attend this elite school and Susie makes sure that each and every girl is cared for as they spend time away from home.”
This Christmas season, Susie had her huddle participate in Operation Christmas Child. They went shopping together as a huddle and filled a box with presents for a child in need. While the local newspaper ran a story about the project, the article failed to shed light on Susie’s service as a volunteer.
“She gives a lot of time and energy pouring into these young athletes,” says Melissa. “Yet she is never concerned about receiving recognition for her great service to the community.”
Susie’s husband, Rob, has also made a significant impact on the region as a volunteer. He played an instrumental role in organizing and facilitating a Tony Dungy Appreciation Breakfast this past September for 130 coaches. The event was a great success and led to the formation of new huddles and coaches connections in the area.
Even the Connerty’s daughter, Anna, has furthered Melissa’s FCA ministry. She helped organize FCA camps as an intern and provided Melissa with much-needed assistance during a busy season.
“The whole Connerty family doesn’t get enough credit for what they have done for FCA as volunteers,” says Melissa. “They have brought many connections to the northern part of the state, and I wouldn’t be where I am now without their hard work in spreading the Gospel. I am very thankful for their constant support, along with the support of all volunteers, in my FCA Vermont ministry.”
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.