KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)– Throughout the year, the Tennessee football team volunteers in various ways with different projects and events to give back to the community. The Vol For Life program allows the student-athletes to make children’s hospital visits, serve meals, participate in Special Olympics events, and work closely with the Habitat for Humanity organization.
This June, the team will help construct a home for a family of seven in the Knoxville area. Antone Davis, VFL program coordinator, says that it’s important to teach the new players that volunteering is part of playing football at UT.
“Not only are we giving back we’re hands on in the job site helping build an actual home,” Davis says, “that’s very gratifying.”
Ndayiziga Jafari is not sitting on the sidelines watching others construct the walls and windows that soon will be his home.
“I have to do a wonderful job because this is my home,” Jafari says, “this is my future home so I have to make sure all is perfect.”
Jafari, his wife and their five children will soon have a brand new home, built from the ground up, that they know began with many people who wanted to help. The family has lived in Knoxville for seven years and Jafari encourages people to serve and continue to give back to the community.
“Keep serving people because it is a good thing to do,” Jafari says.
Habitat for Humanity program director Phil Watson has been part of building numerous homes in east Tennessee. He says working with the Vol football players makes for special days.
“Today we’ve got mostly freshmen or red shirt freshmen so it’s good to see the new boys come in and start to be coached up on giving back to the community,” Watson says, “and that’s what this VFL program does.”
Several UT football student-athletes volunteered to help on a hot Saturday morning because they know it’s the right thing to do. Logan Fetzner, a redshirt junior wide receiver, is helping with his first Habitat home and says it’s a great program.
“We love coming out here and helping the community,” Fetzner says. “You get to help people who really need it and you meet awesome people out here and work with teammates so it’s a bonding experience.”
The home is scheduled to be dedicated July 25, 2016 at noon.