Student-athletes from Daemen’s 18 intercollegiate athletic teams contributed nearly 1,800 hours of community service during the competition and had a 91 percent participation rate. Community service activities included reading to children at local elementary schools, participation in the Western New York Girls in Sport Service Day, conducting a canned food drive, volunteering with the Daemen Center for Alllied and Unified Sport and Exercise (CAUSE) program, and others.
“Daemen Athletics hopes to encourage all students to get involved in their local community in some way to create civically engaged, lifelong learners,” said Hailey Dietrich, student-athlete success and community engagement coordinator. “Students gain as much from the opportunities as those they help. Holistically, all that they do in the community helps them to grow and ignites a passion to continue serving the community in the future.”
NCAA Team Works, which coordinates community service efforts at NCAA championships, and Helper Helper, a volunteer management and tracking platform, launched the community service competition to recognize student-athletes who give back to their communities. The competition ran from September through November. Rankings were developed based on the total number of community service hours completed and the participation rate of student-athletes.
“I am incredibly proud of the way our student-athletes continually find ways to give back to the community,” said Traci Murphy, director of athletics. “Balancing their commitments to academics and athletics alone is no small task, and when you add in the amount of time they’re devoting to community service projects, it’s inspiring to see, and it shows just how much they are embracing the core values of being an NCAA Division II student-athlete.”
This is the fifth NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Community Service Competition. In all, student-athletes combined this year to contribute more than 173,820 hours of community service in a total of 4,432 opportunities with local organizations. The tally represents a 34 percent increase from last year’s challenge.