ST. CLAIRSVILLE - To gain a little insight into the mind of St. John cross country runner Aaron Ebbert, all you have to do is take a look at his Twitter page.
On it is the saying ''Trying to make a difference in the world!''
A recent endeavor completed by he and a few of his Irish teammates has aided in accomplishing this goal.
The Wheeling Soup Kitchen was the beneficiary of 20 bushels of corn donated by the St. John harriers. The corn came from Ebbert's family farm, the market for which is located on National Road near Interstate 70.
''We have more than 100 fields of corn we harvest to supply our farm market,'' said Ebbert, the Irish senior whose Twitter handle is, ironically @cornhusker173.
''When it became apparent, because of logistics and time constraints, that we had a field of corn that we wouldn't be able to harvest, it bothered me.''
Later, Ebbert, the son of Jerry and Lova Ebbert, was telling some of his teammates about his family's quandary and they decided to harvest the field and donate the corn to the soup kitchen.
Aiding Ebbert were Sean Clemons, David Goclan and Kyleigh Falcone.
''As a coach, you love to see them doing good deeds together,'' St. John head cross country coach Zach Foster said.
It didn't take Aaron Ebbert and his teammates long to get the job done.
''We grabbed the bushel baskets, went to the farm and picked 20 bushels,'' Aaron Ebbert said.
''The soup kitchen was thrilled with the corn, and we felt good about helping others.''
Becky Shilling-Rodecker, executive director of the Wheeling Soup Kitchen, was overwhelmed when she learned of Ebbert's endeavor.
''We were able to serve the fresh corn to our patrons, many of whom do not have access to this type of fresh produce,'' she said. ''The soup kitchen is 100 percent community funded, so having this type of food was truly a blessing. We had corn for several days and it was fresh and delicious.''
Shilling-Rodecker said many local schools give of their time to help the soup kitchen, either by raising money or conducting food drives.
''This was a very intelligent way to help us because they used their time and talents and we are so grateful.''
Foster wasn't surprised by the generosity.
''Our program at St. John has been blessed with very well-rounded kids,'' he said. ''Their success athletically are a product of the same qualities that make them outstanding in the classroom and effective in contributing to the community.''
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org