America East Student-Athletes Spread the Holiday Cheer
America East campuses made sure this holiday season was a time for giving. Each campus’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) along with a number of teams participated in or coordinated events to spread a little holiday cheer throughout their respective communities.
The University at Albany athletic department again participated in the Adopt-a-Family Program. Each athletic team was paired up with a family in need from the Capital Region. The athletes shopped for gifts for the families and then SAAC held a gift wrapping party. Read the story, here.
Binghamton announced a partnership earlier this month with a non-profit ‘A Room to Heal’ and the student group Colleges Against Cancer called ‘Bearcat Buddies.’ The initiative is designed to improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer. You can read more about the Bearcats’ new program here.
Boston University SAAC volunteered at numerous soup kitchens and helped serve Thanksgiving dinners to families in need back in November. The Boston Children’s Hospital is again grateful for the upwards of 540 teddy bears collected at the Teddy Bear Toss for the sick children at a recent men’s hockey game. The event also raised $1,300 for Special Olympics Massachusetts. Read the story, here. The Terrier athletic department also spread holiday cheer through their 15th Annual Holiday Reading Program, which brought Boston University student-athletes into Boston Public Schools to read to school children. Read the story, here.
Hartford put together a food drive right before Thanksgiving and hosted Howie’s Sportsmanship Academy to teach local children about the values of sportsmanship. Check out a video of the Academy, here.
Maine’s athletics department was also busy this holiday season volunteering in a number of different capacities and raising money for great causes. SAAC collected toys and donations for the Marine Corps. Toys for Tots program at all Black Bear home events that will be distributed to children in the greater Bangor area. Meanwhile, members of several teams volunteered as gift wrappers, donated gifts for children in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program and collected gifts for families in need in the Old Town-Orono area.
UMBC participated in a number of community service efforts this fall. Soles for Souls, an event organized by SAAC, received over 200 pairs of sneakers which will be given to those less fortunate. America East representative to the national SAAC, Curtis Schickner, blogged about the event earlier this year. You can also read about UMBC’s other community service efforts, here.
UNH organized “Making a Difference Month” in November when the athletic department hosted the Wildcat Food Drive and continued its efforts with Operation Hat Trick. The food donations were distributed to the New Hampshire Food Back for the fifth straight year. Read about the Food Drive and other community service efforts at UNH, here.
SAAC at Stony Brook donated over 1,100 non-perishable food items to a local food pantry in Port Jefferson, N.Y., while many student-athletes helped serve their fellow classmates at the midnight breakfast to kick off the final exam period. A handful of teams also held clinics and camps for local youth. Read about the volunteers at the midnight breakfast, here.
Vermont got into the giving spirit serving as a host site for the Marine Corps League’s Toys for Kids Drive at the Dec. 17 men’s basketball and hockey games. In addition, many Catamount teams volunteered as waiters/waitresses dressed as elves, delivered teddy bears and wrapped gifts for those in need. Read about the Toys For Kids Drive, here.