Help us, Help our Community. That was the slogan for the Pierce College Raider Athletics’ food drive. In conjunction with Make a Difference Day October 24th, the Raider Athletic program sponsored a food drive to raise much needed food, personal items, and cash support to restock the severely depleted shelves at the FISH Food Banks of Pierce County.
The week long effort was kicked off by an outreach effort on October 14th when student athletes, coaches, and program volunteers spent their weekend handing out flyers and asking shoppers to donate an item in support of the neediest members of their community. The response was inspiring as the containers overflowed with pasta, soup, toothpaste, diapers, pet food, and more.
“This is fun,” said participating basketball player Kerstan Ho. “I’ve never done anything like this before. It’s really cool.”
Similar feelings were shared by other student athletes as the reality of what they were doing became apparent when even the shoppers were thanking them.
“It’s a really good thing you’re doing,” one shopper said to basketball player Mele Rich. “To give up your Saturday afternoon to help those in need is so nice. I know they will appreciate it and I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to help too.”
Hearing about the desperate condition of the local FISH food bank at The Little Church on the Prairie was especially eye opening.
“You have no idea how much we need these supplies, we’re just about down to our last bag of pasta!” said a FISH representative when she stopped by. “This is a particularly hard time of year for many of our citizens. And few realize how much poverty there is right here in our own community. Seeing young people reaching out like this is so wonderful.”
Representatives from three of the six Raider sports teams were in attendance: Women’s Volleyball sported two players, Colleen Pancake and Jessica Aldrich (Puyallup), as well as their coaching staff; Women’s Basketball was represented by four of its members, Leah Brooks (Orting), Alane Gacad and Mele Rich (Steilacoom), Adrenna Sherman (Sherman Prep); and Men’s Basketball boasted Kerstan Ho (Roosevelt) and Ioane Spencer (Kealakehe) from Hawaii, Isaac Black, John Hanson (Tumwater), Kellen McCaffrey (Decatur), Andrew Boykin (Shelton), Norman Brown (Inglewood) from California, and Quincy Garia from the Netherlands. Efforts continued throughout the week as collection boxes were placed around the Pierce College campus. All in all, nearly $2000 worth of food, personal items, and monetary donations were collected.
Future community service events are in the works as the Pierce College Raiders seek to connect with their community and give a little something back. Duncan Stevenson, Director of District Athletics and Recreation at Pierce College, explains, “Our athletic program seeks to develop the whole person. We want to cultivate each of our student athletes academically, athletically, and civically. It’s important that they understand their responsibility to the world they live in.”
To learn more about the Raider Athletic program contact Duncan Stevenson at 964-6612 or log onto www.pierce.ctc.edu/athletics.
Photos and story submitted by Sabrina Crenshaw
Pierce College Alum and Volunteer