The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) at UNC Pembroke got into the Christmas spirit early this year, stuffing several dozen gift boxes for needy children on November 16.
From left basketball player Lindsay Barthof, track team member Antione Stanley and volleyball player Sarah Harrison prepared Christmas boxes for Samaritan ’s Purse.
SAAC joined forces with several other campus groups on the project, said Robin Langley, tennis coach and the group’s advisor.
“Besides filling boxes for Operation Christmas Child (a Samaritan’s Purse project), we have a number of other projects,” Langley said. “We are selling wristbands for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and we have a reading project at Pembroke Elementary School.”
That is just the beginning.
Sarah Harrison, a freshman volleyball player from Corpus Christi, Texas, went from filling boxes Wednesday to giving blood to the Student Government Association Red Cross Blood Drive. The Red Cross reports that whole blood is in short supply during the holidays.
Joel Beachum prepares boxes for shipping.
Lindsay Bartholf, a senior basketball player from Rochester, N.Y., had a date later in the day with the Special Olympics as a volunteer. And Antione Stanley, a member of the track team from Charleston, S.C., will be there too.
The SAAC’s role is to serve as a liaison between student athletes and campus, but on this day Joel Beachum was the go-to guy. A senior exercise and sports science major from Laurinburg, N.C., Beachum brought his local connections to the program.
“The soccer team I coach in Laurinburg matched the number of gift boxes at UNCP,” Beachum said. “My church at home is the regional headquarters for the project.”
“I brought the idea to LSOP (Leadership and Service Opportunities Program), and we ran from there,” he said. “It’s a good way for our student-athletes to get involved.”
Athletic Direct Dan Kenney said community service is vital to the mission of UNCP’s athletic programs.
“We ask each of our student athletes to become champions in each role of their lives.
Giving of our time, talents, and/or treasures is a way to make our community better and to say thanks to all of those people that support UNC Pembroke,” Kenney said. “I’m very proud of what our student athletes are involved with.”
For more information about UNCP athletics, please call 910.521.6227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.