Written by Isabella Legarza, former MSU Women’s Volleyball player and current Athletes for Hope intern.
As we continue to move forward in this ever-changing world, a pandemic isn’t going to stop Michigan State Spartans from participating in community service. Since the fall, student-athletes have been under extreme COVID-19 protocols in order to compete in their respected sport. In honor of National Nutrition Month, Michigan State Student-Athletes teamed up with Athletes for Hope and Feeding America to provide meals for those in need in the Greater Lansing area.
After brainstorming COVID-safe service opportunities, Athletes for Hope presented a “Contact-less Food Donation Drive.” The Contact-less Food Drive provided multiple ways of involvement. Spartans were encouraged to collect non- perishables, where an AFH intern would be notified where and when to pick up the donations and drop them off at the Food Bank – keeping this COVID-safe. Another option was to encourage donations as low as $1; for every $1 donated 10 meals were provided in the Greater Lansing Area.
As the National Nutrition Month comes to an end, we are excited to report the great work that has been done. Over 8,000 meals will be provided to the Greater Lansing community. We are so proud of the Spartan participation. Together, we can connect, raise awareness and inspire those around us.
As part of the Athletes for Hope University program, the Michigan State University Women’s Field Hockey team is making physical fitness a priority for kids in their community! Following a unique educational workshop geared toward helping collegiate athletes identify their charitable passions, the MSU Field Hockey team chose Let’s Move Active Schools (LMAS) as their charity of choice. At the start of the partnerships the team met with the PE teacher and principal at the school and discussed their potential involvement. Since the beginning of the spring semester, approximately 6-8 student-athletes have been visiting two LMAS schools, Winans Elementary School and Colt Elementary School, on a weekly basis. The nature of each visit is a little different each week. Prior to each visit the MSU team leads and the PE teacher discuss the week’s PE objectives and then base their involvement on those conversations. Some weeks the team assists the PE teacher and other weeks the team leads physical fitness activities. In addition to the players, the Women’s Field Hockey coaches have started to participate in school visits as well. We look forward to seeing how the Field Hockey team continues to positively impact physical fitness in East Lansing!
On Wednesday, September 7th, our team completed our AFH University 1.0 workshop with the Men’s Basketball and Women’s Gymnastics teams from Michigan State University. The following day, we took both teams through our Physical Activity Training program. This program teaches athletes how to use play to connect with kids. The teams will now be able to have a deeper connection through physical activity with their partner charities.
The MSU’s Men’s Basketball team will be working with the local Boys and Girls Club in East Lansing. Gymnastics will focus on Let’s Move Active Schools and the Special Olympics as their charity partners.
Thanks go out to the MSU athletics department for helping us coordinate the workshops with your athletes and a big thank you to our friends at Nike who, through their funding, allowed us to deliver these valuable trainings. We cannot wait to see the positive connections that come from our MSU member athletes.