WALTHAM, Mass. – On November 21st in the Gosman Athletic Center, the Brandeis University Department of Athletics held its inaugural Departmental Day of Service, with more than 120 student-athletes and staff members gathering on the indoor track and tennis courts to help sort clothes for the Newtonville, Massachusetts, based non-profit organization Cradles to Crayons.
"I think it's nice that we get to come out as a whole athletics program to do something good for our community," said senior Harrison Kaish of the men's fencing team.
"The holidays are the time of year when you think a lot more about what you've been given and what you can give to others," said graduate student Belle Scott of the volleyball team. "I think it makes everybody feel good on the inside to give back. The holidays are a time to appreciate all the values that bring us together. That's why we're all here."
Over the course of four hours, representatives from nearly every varsity team - with the exception of those competing that day - helped sort and organize more than 65 bags of clothes for kids from 0 to 12 years old.
"Our staff and students understand the honor and privilege of representing the university through competition," said Brandeis Director of Athletics Lauren Haynie. "We are committed to giving back not only to our campus community, but to the greater Boston area as well, and this is the first of many intentional efforts to visibly give back to those not as fortunate as us."
Cradles To Crayons' goal is to supply 33,000 winter coats to children in need across the state of Massachusetts. If you are interested in helping out, please visit their Amazon Wish List or find a drop-off location to donate a new or gently used winter coat that is warm and waterproof, without rips or stains, and with a working zipper.
While all Brandeis teams have been involved with different charitable organizations over the years, from ACEing Autism to Team IMPACT to previous trips to Cradles to Crayons, this is Brandeis's first formal department-wide day of community service in more than a decade.