SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When the Sioux Falls Stampede players are not playing hockey, the young men, are living away from their homes and their families.

They range in age from 16 to 20.

When we think of the Stampede we think of the Denny, the ice, the crowds and the cheering. But during time off, the organization has other lessons to teach.

On this evening we caught up with several players making their way into the St. Francis House.

“They are always a lot of fun and it just lifts everybody’s spirits,” St. Francis House Executive Director Julie Becker said.

One way the Stampede organization tries to make players feel at home is by encouraging them to be a part of the community they live in.

On this night they are serving meals.

“It’s wonderful because it makes our guests feel like they are someone instead of being an outcast,” Becker said.

Becker says the interaction during and after the meal is just as important as the service they provide.

“It’s great when the players sit down and they talk with the guests, they get to have just an average conversation,” Becker said.

“It’s good conversations every time you talk to someone,” Stampede Player Max Rud said.

Rud is 19 and in his second year with the team.

“They will ask us what position we play or do we get in fights or something like that, I always say no because not the biggest fighter,” Rud said.

Rud and his teammates do make sacrifices to follow their dream of playing college hockey and hopefully onto the pros.

Rud spent his senior year of high school away from his friends and family in St Cloud.

It’s the same for 2nd-year player Cole Miller, who is 20 and from Littleton, Colorado.

“Stampede does a great job of sending us to volunteer opportunities, we are going to feeding South Dakota tomorrow, St. Francis, so we read to classrooms we do a lot so it’s special it feels good,” Miller said.

“They bring in their smiles their serving heart and they lift our guests up and give them hope,” Becker said.

For a group of young men focused on winning on the ice, serving their adopted community is a win-win because it’s a chance to learn and grow off the ice.

If you would like the stampede to help out with your organization, a request can be made through the team’s website.