Student-athletes exhibited hearts of gold in record service to community

Charlotte 49ers
Monday, May 21, 2018

Charlotte 49ers student-athletes donated a record 5,000-plus hours of community service to the Charlotte area and surrounding communities during the 2017-18 academic year.

In large part, the donated hours benefitted local charitable organizations. Many activities, like visits to the Levine Children’s Hospital and area elementary schools or clinics/presentations at Education Day and National Girls and Women in Sports Day directly affected children.

“We could not be more proud of the commitment our student-athletes displayed in giving back to our community this school year. This will only open more doors for more opportunities to engage our community even more and meet their needs,” said Chris Everett, director of student-athlete development. “Our goal is to continue to build on this every year and make sure that we as an Athletics Department and University have an impact on our community and continue to work to unite everyone and help everyone to grow. This allows our student-athletes to create their own legacy, as well. They can come back and look at the effect initiatives they started have had on the community through the years, and they can see how they can have an effect on not just their individual team but the surrounding community.” 

This year, the 49ers community service activities included, but were not limited to, the Epilepsy Stroll, the YMCA Miracle League, the Office of Disability Services, the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, Habitat for Humanity, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Second Harvest Food Bank, Strokes for Spokes, the Crisis Assistance Ministry, the Project Life Movement, the Down Syndrome Association, Dig Pink Breast Cancer Research, a Greensboro Tornado Relief Drive, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Blood Drive and mission trips to Guatemala and Haiti.

The 49ers who regularly donated between 2,700-3,300 hours of community service during the previous four years set a record with 5,357 total hours of community service, which equates to 223 24-hour days or 670 eight-hour days of good work.  The 49ers’ 375 student-athletes averaged 14.29 hours of community service.

Included in the donated hours are 2,105 hours from the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the SAAC Cares initiative. The 49ers softball team donated the most hours for an individual team (1,178) followed by football (712) and women’s track and field/cross country (619:55). Softball (65.45), women’s soccer (22.91) and men’s tennis (16.87) had the highest average for hours donated per student-athlete. Softball standouts Meredith Harris (520:45) and Becca Shipper (395:15) and baseball’s Jackson Mims (246:00) earned the most community-service hours.

In addition to the hours donated, 49ers student-athletes collected 167.2 pounds of food, 148 pounds of clothing, 130 pounds of toiletries and $2,637.60 in donations for various organizations and activities.