Kansas Athletics Volunteers in Community, Donates to Tornado Victims

May 27, 2011


More than 50 Kansas Athletics staff members and coaches went out into the community Thursday afternoon to participate in a variety of volunteer projects as part of KAI’s Jayhawks Give Back program. KU also held a food drive to help victims of the recent tornado devastation.

“Yesterday’s events were about core values: community, team building, working hard, having fun, and being good neighbors,” said Howard Graham, learning services coordinator at KU and Staff Advisory Board director. “I think the overwhelming participation from and positive feedback by staff members speaks to how much these values are a part of who we are.”

Several volunteers helped with Habitat for Humanity nailing up boards in preparation for drywall within a newly constructed house and also getting the roof ready for shingles.

In another part of town, employees installed basketball goals at The Villages, a non-profit organization providing family-style group homes to children ages 6-18. The Villages provide emotionally supportive homes and families to children and youth in need. In all, three basketball goals were assembled. The goals were donated by the Mario V. Chalmers Foundation.

“In the grand scheme of life, providing the youth living at The Villages with a “full court” basketball facility probably does not amount to a great deal, but if it provides them with an area to shoot around or play games to momentarily escape the reasons they are at the homes, then we accomplished a lot,” said Scott Hobbs, compliance director of education. “In addition, it was a great opportunity to work with co-workers and friends and interact with those people in a non-office setting and to get to know them outside of Kansas Athletics.”

052711aaa_318_4753924.jpegOther needs were met closer to home as several more volunteers headed up to the Hilltop Child Development Center on campus. Here, participants got dirty distributing wood mulch along the playground area and also moving pieces of playground equipment to different locations.

“They worked extremely hard and literally moved a “mountain” of wood mulch into our playground area and helped us move a small piece of playground equipment to a safer location on the playground,” said Pat Pisani, Executive Director of Hilltop. “Both projects have made our playground safer for Hilltop kids. Kansas Athletics’ efforts to develop a very supportive neighborly relationship with our program this year have been greatly appreciated.”

Kansas Athletics also held a food drive to support the American Red Cross and its efforts to help those affected by recent tornadoes in Reading, Kan., and Joplin, Mo. KU raised a total of $1,315 and 592 lbs. of non-perishable food items.