KU softball makes the Holidays brighter for local family

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The stress of final exams and papers has appeared on the University of Kansas campus, but the Jayhawk softball program took a break from studying to make the holiday season a little brighter for one local family.
KU softball partnered with the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program for the fourth-consecutive year and adopted a family of four for the upcoming holiday season. The Jayhawks shopped for their family on Sunday afternoon before gathering as a team to celebrate the end of the fall semester and the holidays.
“Adopting a family for the holidays is one of our favorite events of the year,” said head coach Megan Smith. “We look forward to shopping for our family and have fun giving back to the community. During this time of year, it’s nice to think about someone other than yourself and sopmething other than softball.”
Prior to the holidays in 2013, the Jayhawks decided to forego a team gift exchange and instead start a new holiday tradition in giving back to the community. Many members of the Kansas softball team volunteer throughout the community year round, but the adopt-a-family program has quickly become one of the Jayhawks’ favorite opportunities to help a very special family.
“We love adopting a family, it’s our favorite way to give back during the holidays as a team,” said senior pitcher Sophia Templin. “To be a part of it for four years is special because I’ve watched my teammates give more money each year. Our coaches love this event too, we all get in to it and it always takes more than an hour to finish all the shopping.”
The team split up into their Rock Chalk teams with each getting a member of the family to shop for. Everyone will receive a new outfit and a present wrapped and delivered by the Salvation Army. The entire team and coaching staff pitched in and donated their own money to help make the Holidays special for a Douglas County family.
Before getting back to the reality of finals, the Jayhawks shared lunch with the entire team, coaches and support staff. The fun-filled afternoon capped off with a cookie decorating contest between the Rock Chalk Teams, which was won by the Wheaties for the second year in a row. Sunday’s activities were the final time the entire team will be together until the 2017 season begins.
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