Mattress Firm Student of the Week: Valley Christian's Tyler Bell

The images were striking then, as they are now. Almost a year later, the city of Houston, Texas is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. And a football player in Missoula, Montana felt like he needed to help.

"You could just tell, that from that, they had grown stronger  as a community together in their sense of pride, saying, hey, we are Texans. If Hurricane Harvey didn't take us out, nothing is going to take us out." laughs Valley Christian senior Tyler Bell.

Tyler Bell is a senior this year on the Class C Valley Christian Eagles. He has played an active role in his own Missoula community, but this past summer, he had the chance to help the ongoing recovery effort in a different type of community, almost 2,000 miles away from the Garden City.

"There was a lot of empty homes that were completely stripped from the inside. Just completely hollow. There was one subdivision that had close to three thousand homes, and only three hundred were livable still." Bell says.

Bell joined Outdoor Life Ministries as part of a joint team with the Baptist Church in Salmon, Idaho. The group held block parties for community members, offered medical treatment, and hosted youth camps to give the children of Houston something to do. 

"After what happened in Hurricane Harvey, everyone was completely open to just tell you their life story, on the spot. You didn't even have to ask, it was cool." says Bell.

Tyler's Head coach Shane Sander isn't surprised that Tyler rose to the occasion to help out. 

"He is just a hard worker, he worked hard all summer, both in the weight room and with the work that he did. Which, now, you don't see as ton of young guys that are willing to work during the summer anymore, like i did when I was a kid. But he has a great attitude, he never complains, yeah, he has been a joy to coach and is a fun kid to be around." says Sanders.

And the lasting lesson for Tyler after seeing Houston come back stronger?

"Never give up. I mean, when things get hard, you kind of have to look to your neighbors and pull together, under one community, because that's what you really are." Bell says.

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