The Bethel volleyball team assisted with the "Coaches Against Cancer" partnership with Randy Shaver's Cancer Research and Community Fund. The squad served as the donation team and went out into the crowd throughout a BU home football game to collect the donations fans. "We do this in large part because of our love and deep respect for our Assistant Strength Coach, Larry Herm, who is also a Bethel assistant football coach, the coordinator of the Tackle Cancer game on our campus, and a cancer survivor," Bethel volleyball coach Gretchen Hunt explained.
The Gustavus volleyball team conducted their annual pen pal program with elderly tenants at the Ecumen Senior Living Center in St. Peter. The players wrote letters back and forth with a resident throughout the season and then met their pen pal for the first time the morning of their last regular season home match. The players spent time with their pen pals at their homes before the pen pals attended the Gusties' match later that day.
On September 6th, the St. Thomas volleyball team participated in the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital blanket give-away event. Prior to this event, UST had a blanket-tying get-together and made more than 25 fleece blankets to donate to the hospital. These blankets mean a great amount to the families and children, as they offer comfort when families need it most. Words cannot describe how joyful and heartwarming it was for the players to see the biggest smile appear on a child’s face as they picked out their special blanket.
The Tommies hope to continue throughout the year to raise money to make and donate more blankets for their next blanket-giveaway at the Masonic Children’s Hospital, as well as participating in other volunteering events.
The Auggies participated in two different service-learning opportunities, including a session at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) and serving four meals in small groups at the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.
"The FMSC project was a fun way for the team to spend time together on one of the first days during preseason," head coach Jane Becker said. "The setting allowed our team to really use our competitiveness for good as we competed to pack as many boxes as possible for children around the world."
The Minneapolis Crisis Nursery brought the idea of hunger a bit closer to Augsburg's backyard as the team served meals to local youth. The squad split up into position groups, allowing each player to participate in the making and serving of meals. Each group was given a meal plan, recipes, and the groceries to make a meal for children. They then served the meal and had some time to eat, talk, and engage with the children. The Auggies plan to make this an annual tradition.
Augsburg also collected food items for the Waite House, a local food shelf. Waite House programs integrate civic engagement with human services to bring about positive change within its core focus areas of Employment and Training, Health and Nutrition, Youth Development, and Basic Needs.
St. Kate's volleyball team took a break from preseason training to spend time at Women's Advocates in St. Paul. Women's Advocates is a safe place where victims and survivors of all backgrounds and cultures can escape domestic violence and begin to heal. The team pitched in by cleaning the kitchen and cafeteria, transporting items into recycling, and pulling weeds in the yard.