Last year, Grizzly student athletes gave back to their community in an impressive way, with 2,100 hours of community service. This year, they did even more, with a 50% increase in total hours (3,100 hours)
“I really think it’s the student athletes and the coaches, and our staff buying in that this idea is community service is one of our core values, and our key points. I’m very proud of what the student athletes have done,” says UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam.
The organizations they gave back to were all across the board, including, but not limited to Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, the Poverello Center, Watson Children’s Shelter, and the Montana Foodbank.
“We really try and help whoever we can help. I think certainly our student athletes working with children, for them, is very rewarding, and that’s been where a lot of the focus is. But we’ve run the gamete of age groups, all the way from elementary schools to senior citizen centers throughout the Missoula Valley, but it’s a much more coordinated effort than in the past which has made it easier for us to respond to the needs of people,” says Haslam.
And there’s plenty of gratitude from the groups that get help from the Griz athletes.
“It’s great, I get notes, emails, we get pictures. It’s really been very well received, and again for our student athletes it helps them really connect with the community and help them realize how blessed they are, and how great they have it, and it shapes them for the future,” says Haslam.
And for Athletic Director Kent Haslam who has seen the community service hours improve every year since he’s been at the helm, it means a lot.
“Certainly watching student athletes graduate is the absolute pinnacle, but also seeing them learn and grow by connecting in the community and the maturity that comes through that process, it’s been beyond what I could imagine,” says Haslam.
To learn more please visit: http://www.gogriz.com/