JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 10, 2009) - After wrapping up fall play at the end of October, ETSU's softball team has been busy giving back to the community.
Over the past month the Lady Bucs have spent their time volunteering at numerous locations -
including with Special Olympics, Salvation Army, Coalition for Kids and at the Ivory Hall Nursing Home in Elizabethton.
Participating in community service projects is something head ETSU softball coach Andrea Mangrum, her team and ETSU Athletics take great pride in during the year.
Following their efforts within the community, coach Mangrum believes it was a great learning experience for her Lady Buccaneer squad.
"The Christmas season always brings out the best in everyone when it comes to giving, but I want to teach our players that giving year round is important," Mangrum said. "We have been so blessed and sometimes we take a lot of things for granted. I believe the team has developed a new appreciation for those in need and have a caring heart to help them."
ETSU's community service participation began the last weekend in October, when the Lady Bucs made weekly visits to the Ivory Hall Nursing Home. Each week members of the team spent an hour and a half interacting with the elderly. During the time there, the Lady Bucs played games, sang songs, read or shared stories with those in need.
Visiting the nursing home and interacting with the members was something senior shortstop Cheneice Cason (
"Being able to visit with the people at the nursing home was a great learning experience," said Cason. "Not only was it a very fun and gratifying experience, but I was able to learn about life from a different perspective."
Meanwhile, when the Lady Bucs were not visiting the nursing home, they were busy helping out with Special Olympics and shopping with Coalition for Kids.
For over three hours on November 5, the Lady Bucs spent the morning bowling at a Special Olympics function. The team helped the children bowl and keep score during the fun-filled day. Then, this past weekend on Dec. 4, the Lady Bucs paired up with children from Coalition for Kids to take them shopping at Wal-Mart. Local kids in the area, who qualify for financial assistance, were paired up with Lady Buccaneer players and given $100 to shop that evening at Wal-Mart.
The Lady Bucs wrapped up their volunteer efforts at the Salvation Army Angel Tree Warehouse. ETSU spent Monday, Dec. 7 and Wednesday, Dec. 9, putting presents together for local families in the area. In addition, the Lady Bucs also adopted a child from the tree and purchased gifts for the individual.
After performing 15-plus hours of community service efforts, the Lady Bucs had a new view on life.
"Overall I believe the community service efforts were a great learning tool for the team and me," added freshman local standout Whitley Hensley (
"I think community service is very important, because you are helping those in need and giving back to the community," added Cason. "I feel what we continue to do is very important. Seeing the children have fun makes me feel excited about the simple things in life. Overall these efforts were very fun and gratifying."
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 Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.