Tulane student-athletes continued their community service efforts last Friday, July 11, as five large groups consisting of Green Wave student-athletes and staff ventured out into the Greater New Orleans area to volunteer their time at a variety of locations.
The work done by the student-athletes is a continuation of a community service initiative that the Tulane athletic department has committed to participating in around the Greater New Orleans area every Friday of the summer.
Some football and men’s basketball players headed to a blighted home in Kenner to clean up the inside of the dwelling through the Youth Rebuilding New Orleans program. Devon Breaux, Trey Cammisa, Junior Diaz, Marc Edwards, Justyn Shackleford, Eric Thomas and Marshall Wadleigh of the football squad joined up with Louis Dabney and Tre Drye of the men’s basketball team to remove old, ruined furniture in addition to cleaning out shelving and closets.
YRNO is a non-profit volunteer organization created and organized by the youth of New Orleans. The organization’s efforts are directed at bettering the lives of New Orleans’ youth. Many young people who wanted to volunteer to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina were turned away by other non-profits because of the liability associated with reconstruction work. Instead of accepting this rejection, a committed group of teenagers decided they would find a way to help the New Orleans community recover.
Closer to the Tulane campus, footballers Ade Aruna, Tyler Gilbert, Rob Kelley, Andre Robinson, Parry Nickerson and Richard Allen teamed up with track and field star Daliadiz Ortiz, men’s basketball swingman Jay Hook and women’s basketball players Tiffany Dale and Caylah Cruickshank at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, where they spread cheer to many of the youngsters being treated for illnesses there. The student-athletes met with children, while passing out a variety of Tulane memorabilia while talking with the patients and their families.
On the other side of Claiborne Ave., football and baseball star Richard Carthon and his gridiron teammates Brandon LeBeau, Tanner Lee, Nico Marley, Darion Monroe, Taurean Nixon, Devin Powell, Josh Rounds, Jason Stewart, Lazedrick Thompson, Arturo Uzdavinis and Fudge Van Hooser spent the afternoon playing with children in grades first through fifth at a summer day camp, located at Lafayette Academy Charter School on Carrollton Ave. Many of the student-athletes played basketball with some of the older children, while others dished out snacks and colored with some of the younger campers. Stewart and Van Hooser even built things with Legos with some of the children.
A select few took to the streets of New Orleans to help the mission of Green Light New Orleans, which is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2006 to assist in the sustainable rebuilding of New Orleans by using volunteers to install free energy-efficient light bulbs and backyard vegetable gardens to demonstrate that a mass movement of individual actions creates a significant impact on the New Orleans environment and community. Women’s basketball’s Danielle Blagg, Adesuwa Ebomwonyi, Tierra Jones and Morgan Rogers headed to some homes alongside women’s tennis’ Emily Dvorak, football’s Jarrod Franklin, Jamar Thomas and Logan Hamilton, men’s basketball’s Cameron Reynolds and Ryan Smith and baseball’s Brady Wilson to do some gardening.
Lastly, a large contingent of football players in Quinlan Carroll, Bob Bradley, Leonard Davis, Sean Donnelly, Brandon Godfrey, Brandon Purcell and Anthony Taylor worked with Jonathan Stark and Payton Henson of the men’s basketball squad, Chinwe Duru, Kolby Morgan, Jamie Kaplan and Paije Hall of the women’s basketball program and Lauren Arnold of the swimming and diving team to work with the St. Paul’s Homecoming Center, which is another non-profit organization that focuses on rebuilding homes and businesses that were affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Issac. The group spent some time at KIPP Believe – formerly Benjamin Banneker – where they primed walls for painting and moved furniture into all of the classrooms.
“Our student-athletes are making a huge impact this summer,” stated Tulane ASC senior academic counselor Charlotte Battiest. “They are doing a great job giving back to the community. Whether it’s playing with the kids, gutting homes, or doing school renovations, they are committed to our program.”