As social distancing continues, teenagers find themselves dealing with issues such as completing school online, lack of extracurricular activities, and of course missing spending time with their friends. Additionally, with the suspension of activities such as tennis, many find that they may have extra time on their hands. One USTA Mid-Atlantic member and junior tennis player decided to put his spare time to good use. Deigo Tran Rosado and his dad, USTA member Dao Tran regularly volunteer their time delivering meals and groceries for Corona Aid 757, and Southeastern Food Bank.
We caught up with Diego to find out more about him and how he and his dad are serving off the court.
USTA Mid-Atlantic: Where do you live now?
Diego: We currently live in Virginia Beach, VA
Tell me about your family?
My dad is American and my mom is Spanish. My sister and I were both born in Spain.
I grew up in Malaga, Spain. I have Spanish and US citizenship.
We moved to the United States because my sister wanted to finish high school here and then head to college. We moved here last July 2019 and we attend Princess Anne High School.
How did you get your start in tennis?
After I quit soccer and didn’t want to do a summer camp, my dad told me I had to find another sport. So he took me out to the tennis court since he loves tennis. I was 7 years old that summer. I’ve stayed with it since.
Currently, I train at a club and with a private coach and with my dad. I started playing tournaments on weekends when I was 9 years old.
How long have you been playing?
Where do you usually play?
Cape Henry Racquet Club
Do you play on teams or in tournaments?
Yes, JTT at Old Dominion University with Jennifer Toomey’s team. I play individually at different USTA tournaments in Virginia and North Carolina.
Tell me about how you are serving off court?
My dad and I are helping CoronaAid757 and Southeastern Food Bank by making deliveries to seniors, those in financial need and in quarantine.
We deliver meals 2-3 times a week depending on days we are not busy with school work and have been delivering since mid-March.
Why did you decide to volunteer your time?
My dad has volunteered before and told me how rewarding it was many times. He did it when he was at the university with Rotaract and other local organizations back in Los Angeles. So whenever he has time he would look to volunteer.
Then when we started seeing people (and cars in long lines) on TV standing in line for food kitchens we wondered what about people who cannot leave their homes like seniors and those who are in quarantine or those who didn’t even have a car and take buses that may need food or help. We wanted to help these people who are isolated and cannot even go out.
How did you get started?
We wanted to help in some way locally but weren’t sure what we could do. So we did research and found CoronaAid757 on Facebook and later found the Southeastern Food Bank on Google. Both needed drivers to make deliveries. Since we can volunteer the days and hours we are free, we decided to sign up and help.
What’s your favorite part of making deliveries?
It’s rewarding to see the look on the recipient’s faces when they receive their packages and meals, knowing that we’re helping in some way. We’re all in this together and no one should be forgotten. It helps you stay grounded and humble and grateful.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to volunteer during this time?
Organizations always need volunteers. It doesn’t take much but it means a lot for those in need. If you have time and transportation, just reach out and ask how you can help, no matter your experience, skills or background, it’s easy as that.
USTA Mid-Atlantic is proud of all of our members who are serving the community during this time of crisis. Let us know how you or your tennis friends are going above and beyond for others and making a difference during the coronavirus pandemic by emailing email@example.com.
Click here to find out how you can support USTA Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit organization to make an impact on our region through the power of tennis.