Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hearts of Gold

Tomorrow, several 49ers student-athletes will assist the "Tools For Schools" program that the university has partnered with in an effort to collect school supplies for families that otherwise may not be able to afford it. A collection box has been outside the 49ers athletic department entrance and tomorrow student-athletes will be on hand to help deliver collected supplies to WSOC-TV studios, where they will help bring greater exposure to the cause.

I bring this up simply because this is the first of many community service projects the 49ers will be involved in this year. In September, the 49ers regularly host the 9/11 Blood Drive. In October, the 49ers volleyball team will spearhead "Dig Pink" to create awareness and raise money for breast cancer research.

In fact, 49ers student-athletes have already been at this year. I saw several soccer players volunteering with the FCCA Soccer Club, this summer, working with young kids and assisting at clinics.

Did you know, that over the course of last season 49ers student-athletes donated a school-record 2036.5 hours of community service. That equates to nearly 85 full 24-hour days (or nearly 3 full months) of donated time to the community. Last year, the projects included the blood drive, volleyball's focus on breast cancer awareness and youth clinics as well as the Toys for Tots campaign, Loaves and Fishes, Earth Day Campus Clean-up, visits to children's hospitals and reading in elementary schools.

The 49ers do this for a few reasons. It is important to give back to the community which supports it. It is important for college age kids to learn and experience the fortunes of doing good for others. And, everyone should get the chance to see a kid's face light up just because someone reached out to them.

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