Monday, December 12, 2011

UIS student-athletes help sort Toys for Tots donations

A group of student-athletes from the University of Illinois Springfield spent their Saturday volunteering at Sangamon County Toys for Tots. The volunteers helped sort donated toys at the group’s Springfield warehouse.

Students from a variety of UIS athletic teams worked in shifts throughout the day to organize hundreds of toys by age and gender. The toys will later be delivered to agencies in Springfield, just in time for the holidays.

“I think it shows the Springfield community that we care about them and I think as a result we get a lot more people at our games that support us because they know that we’re engaged members of the community,” said Tina Buck, a junior softball player.

Buck hopes the support they’re showing the community will benefit them on the field through increased fan support.

“It shows that we do care about them and we want them to care about us when we’re out on the playing field and hopefully that will lead us to more winning seasons,” said Buck.

The students also learned from the volunteer experience and for many it made them realize how fortunate they are to be playing on a team and receiving a higher education.

“It makes me feel better because I know I can give back to the community and I’m helping people who are less fortunate than me,” said Ashley Stariha, a sophomore women’s soccer player.

“I didn’t realize how much they actually did, like this is amazing how much stuff they have here, so it really feels good to come and give back,” said Aubrey Watson, a senior softball player.

The volunteer activity was organized by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which advises Athletic Department leaders, coordinates volunteer activities, and organizes fundraising efforts in the community.

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