During the holidays and beyond, NCAA student-athletes are actively engaged in their communities. From food and toy drives to teddy bear tosses and more, student-athletes across the nation have found ways to give back in this season of sharing. Here is a sampling of recent service projects:
The Dartmouth men's ice hockey team was one of many groups of student-athletes that have engaged with their community during the holiday season.
"This is always something that we all really enjoy and a day I have looked forward to all four years I've been here," said Dartmouth senior forward Nick Walsh. "We know how lucky we are, but it's a great experience for all of us to go over together and give something back to this community that has embraced us. But those kids give us as much as they think we are giving them and that is a great feeling."
“We traveled around the hospital caroling in individual rooms and taking song requests,” said senior forward and co-captain Alexandra Blair. “The patients seemed to really appreciate our time spent with them and we were equally grateful for the opportunity to meet each of them. For some of us, singing may not rank highly among our talents, but I was proud of my team’s ability to work together and recognize what the holiday season is all about!”
"Within our programs we spend a lot of time talking about helping others, especially those who may be less fortunate,” coach Anthony Nguyen said. “Having the opportunity to volunteer at the soup kitchen at St. Georges Catholic Church the last four years has been life changing for our players. We feel lucky to have had the chance to get out in our community and volunteer our time for such a worthy cause."
“It’s a unique way for us to connect with the community and be able to give back,” said Trevor Nill, an assistant captain for the men’s ice hockey team and one of the program organizers. “In addition, it is great for team bonding. The community is so supportive and they come out to support us at our events so it’s important for us to be able to give back to them.”
"It's always a wonderful feeling to see an idea come to life, but there is a certain sense of pride when that idea is geared towards helping others," Molly Shannon, cross country SAAC rep and the drive's coordinator, said.