JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 12, 2007) - The East Tennessee State softball team is taking time away from the playing field this holiday season by spending every Monday helping at either the Salvation Army or Dawn of Hope here in Johnson City.
Last Monday head ETSU softball coach Andrea Mangrum and the Lady Buccaneer softball team visited groups at Dawn of Hope, which is a non-profit agency designated to provide a wide array of service to mentally challenged and other developmentally disabled persons. The Softball Bucs spent time creating and helping those design arts and crafts for the holidays. Making crafts was not the only thing the Lady Bucs did, as the team also brought smiles to people's faces and created new friendships as well.
"Our main goal this off season is to keep the team focused on giving and having thankful hearts," said Mangrum. "The team loves spending time with those in need and they are having a blast building relationships within the community."
When the team is not visiting Dawn of Hope they are going to the Johnson City Salvation Army on Monday afternoons. While at the Salvation Army, the Bucs spend several hours serving food to homeless people, as well as helping children with homework and entertaining them with games.
Reaching out to the community and those in need is a strong value in the ETSU Athletics Department, and coach Mangrum wants her team to realize the importance of giving back to the less fortunate.
"I want my players to be reminded of the important things in life and that serving others is the greatest gift of all," mentioned Mangrum. "We want to approach the season with an emphasis on teamwork and a selfless attitude. If the team's hearts are changed through these experiences at the Salvation Army and Dawn of Hope then my prayers have been answered."
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics takes pride in its community service activities and strives for 100 percent participation from its student-athletes, coaches and administrators throughout the year.
For more information on Buccaneer softball and the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics community service efforts visit www.ETSUBucs.com.