"Jayhawks Give Back" to Lawrence Community

Oct. 9, 2010


With the week off from football, the KU Athletics Department spent Saturday, Oct. 9 today actively serving the Lawrence community for “Jayhawks Give Back.”

The day began at Robinson Natatorium, where around 80 kids, 30 KU student-athletes and law enforcement professionals participated in Hawks, Cops and Kids. This program educates kids from second to eighth grade from both the Lawrence area and Big Brothers Big Sisters about drug safety, bullying and drugs and alcohol.

Participants were divided into seven groups according to age and were escorted by law officials through stations where they learned about drug safety, bullying, and were also allowed to take a look at the patrol cars. The kids had the opportunity to meet and play games with several different KU student-athletes.

“It’s a really cool experience for us. We get to come out here and get into the community, that’s something that we like to do is to give back. I feel like even the little amount of time that we get to spend with the kids will make a difference to them and to us,” sophomore distance runner Rebeka Stowe said.

Many KU football team members volunteered and had two different stations where they could interact and play with the kids. Senior linebacker Drew Dudley enjoyed volunteering for Hawks, Cops and Kids for the first time.

“It’s been a great atmosphere; I mean the kids really seem to enjoy it. It’s fun just to connect with the community because we don’t get to see a lot of these kids so it’s been a fun experience,” Dudley said.

In downtown Lawrence, Kansas swimmers Joy Bunting, Shannon Garlie and Alyssa and Brittany Potter read to a room of eager children at the Lawrence Public Library as part of the River City Reading Festival. They took turns reading Jayhawk-themed books and answering questions from the kids in attendance.

“It was a really fun time today,” Bunting said. “It was a great way to show the Kansas swimming and diving team in a bit of a different way and it’s always fun to do that.”

While Jayhawk student-athletes gave back this morning, across town nearly a dozen Kansas Athletics employees arrived in east Lawrence to volunteer their time for Habitat for Humanity. The crew spent the day doing a variety of projects on a brand new house being built in the area. The teams painted, laid tile and added a garage door, among other things, to the house. All volunteers enjoyed working and learning beside current and former general contractors in charge of the house.

Crews have been working on the site for the last couple of months and owners are scheduled to move into their new home at the end of October.