Averett University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee nearly doubled its goal by collecting 741 items to donate locally to God’s Storehouse as part of its Easter Collection Challenge.
Averett commitee has a long history of serving the community through service initiatives as part of their mission. In past years through USA South Conference initiatives among conference institutions, Averett has won five “Cans Across the Conference” competitions and four “Pennies for a Purpose” contests. With the conference not sponsoring those initiatives this year, Averett’s group felt it was imperative to continue its contributions to the community this year.
“This project was important to SAAC because this year we weren’t able to do our ‘traditional’ events that we usually do with SAAC like Cans Across the Conference and Pennies for a Purpose due to COVID, so we decided we wanted to do something to get our student-athletes involved with their community,” said junior Zamyiah Mangum, Averett SAAC president. “Just because there is a pandemic going on doesn’t mean that we had to stop helping our community and being more than just athletes on campus. We wanted to do something simple and that wasn’t extremely time-consuming due to everyone being in season, so we decided we could still keep it ‘traditional’ by collecting items.”
For its Easter Collection Challenge, the commitee asked each Averett team to collect the same amount of toiletry items equal to the number of student-athletes on its roster. With more than 400 student-athletes, SAAC nearly doubled that goal by collecting nearly 750 items to donate to God’s Storehouse of Danville.
“The God’s Storehouse Easter Collection was a great way for Averett’s student athletes to give back to the community,” said junior Morgann Dills, Averett SAAC secretary. “The students were excited to be able to give back to the community during this pandemic that we are currently still in. It gave a sense of normalcy and gave hope that we will be able to do more community service in the future semesters. Averett is very appreciative to the Danville community because of all the support we get from them so this was our way to give support and love back.”
Junior Allison Kelley, Averett SAAC vice president, said, “As a student-athlete, it is very important to help out in the community, no matter the task. It helps to give back to individuals who support you regardless if they come to games or not. Making an impact like this will help a lot longer than us being in school.”
Senior Colton Dutchess, past SAAC officer, said it is nice to be a part of something bigger than just Averett athletics.
“It’s a way to get involved and support the local community that we’ve learned to call our second home,” he said. “In recent times with everything going on in the world, doing our part in collections like this can go a long way to stay connected with and help out those in need.”
Freshman Conner Brown, SAAC community service coordinator, agreed.
“This collection project was a way for many student-athletes the ability to connect with their community,” Brown said. “Especially with all sports occurring at once and under a pandemic, it was challenging to find opportunities to participate in community service. The God’s Storehouse collection provided an attainable way for student-athletes to get involved within and help those in the community.”