A total of 137 WKU staff members, coaches and student-athletes participated in the United Way of Southern Kentucky’s 3rd Annual Day of Caring on Wednesday, July 27th. WKU’s participation is a component of the Athletics Department’s expansive Hilltoppers with Heart Community Service program.
“Having the WKU family support the Day of Caring with a 137 volunteers reinforces the strong partnership between United Way and WKU,” President of United Way of Southern Kentucky Doug Eberhart said. “Having this many people volunteering and giving back to the community really demonstrates the spirit of WKU. We are very grateful for the support and willingness of the people to volunteer.”
The WKU volleyball team volunteered to help with the PLARN project in Downing University Center from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., helping to create plastic yarn (PLARN) from grocery bags. The yarn was crocheted into mats and will be given to the homeless in the area to provide more comfortable sleeping conditions.
The WKU men’s basketball team volunteered on the grounds of Riverview at Hobson Grove where they helped to paint interior walls of a small home. The Cottage provides important storage for the historic house museum.
The WKU football team and WKU staff members helped with indoor and outdoor clean-up projects all day at the Houchens Center. They helped wash windows, polish silverware, clean light fixtures, paint porch benches, weed flower beds and improve the appearance of the wall on the side street of the center.
Hilltoppers with Heart is designed to give WKU student athletes, coaches and staff the unique opportunity to make an impact in our community by volunteering their time and talent with numerous organizations. WKU Athletics has partnered with the United Way and participating in the 3rd Annual Day of Caring marked the first project as part of the Hilltoppers with Heart community service program.
Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, United Way of Southern Kentucky has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work. As part of the United Way of Southern Kentucky’s 3rd Annual Day of Caring, hundreds of volunteers from throughout the community join local non-profit organizations and work to make real changes in people’s lives.
WKU head volleyball coach Travis Hudson:
“I don’t think there is any way that we could possibly get our kids out in the community enough. This is such a good group of kids, and having these opportunities is something that they really look forward to. This is a great day all around our community, and we are really glad to be doing our part. These kids come to college to get an education, and there is a lot more to an education than just what is going on in the classroom. For them to do things like this and see the different things that are going on in life only enriches them and helps them be a better person when they walk out the door.”
WKU volleyball senior Tiffany Elmore:
“When they were demonstrating what we would be doing today, it really gave me goosebumps. As a college athlete you are thinking about games and practices and everything, and coming to help with this is an eye-opener. Being able to do my part is something that I love doing and means a lot to me. Not only are we helping others, but we are also bonding more as a team.”
WKU men’s basketball junior Caden Dickerson:
“It feels great to be able to come out as a team and give back to the community. People in Bowling Green do so much to support us each season, so spending some time with people away from the court is a nice feeling. It is a lot of fun being out here with my teammates, too. This will be something that we remember for a while.”
WKU football junior Jack Doyle:
“It is always a positive experience whenever we can get out into the community. We always enjoy coming out here and doing things like this, and it gets us away from the grind in the stadium. Even though today is all about helping other people, working together on these projects also builds team chemistry. In football you have to be together on and off the field, and experiences like these make us care about each other even more. We are just happy to be able to do our part for the people of Bowling Green.”