For Winona State University’s student athletes, community engagement isn’t just a requirement, it’s a pillar of the WSU athletic program. Since the start of the 2016-17 school year, WSU athletes already have contributed more than 800 hours of service to the local community.
According to Myranda Nash, Associate Athletic Director, each student athlete must complete four hours of community engagement by the end of the year. Annual events coordinated by WSU student athletes include Make-A-Wish games, Trick or Treat for Cans and Warriors to Readers.
“On behalf of myself and all Winona State athletes, being involved in our community here in Winona is extremely important to us” said Allyson O’Herron, chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee Community.
In an effort to make community engagement even more accessible for student athletes, this semester WSU began using an app called “Helper Helper.” Helper Helper is a mobile app and web portal that 370+ NCAA institutions and 95,000 student athletes use to track and coordinate hours of community engagement.
In just a few short weeks, 91 percent of WSU student athletes have downloaded the app to help find volunteer opportunities and organize their volunteer hours.
“As student-athletes, our lives are already busy and unpredictable,” said O’Herron. “Because of our desire to stay involved with the community, having this app to help us organize our community service endeavors is extremely useful.”
At the end of the year, the male and female student athlete with the most volunteer hours will be given a “hometown hero” award. Team scores will also be calculated and a Warrior Cup Champion will be named.
“Our student-athletes are committed to helping others and I expect to see those numbers represented in all of the wonderful things they accomplish this year,” said Nash. “This app gives everyone equal access to report good deeds within our community. We’re still working out the kinks of teaching everyone how it works, but I expect this to be beneficial to our community and student-athletes.”
From Winona.edu – written by Kassidy Jackson
This past Monday was the fifth annual Trick or Treat for Cans outing.
Student-athletes from all 15 Winona State sports went door-to-door on Monday night, collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items that were donated to the Winona Food Pantry. The Warriors were able to collect 3,320 pounds of food during their fifth-annual ‘Trick or Treat for Cans’ event while also accumulating $231 in donations.
“Our student-athletes enjoy this event each year and especially enjoyed meeting so many members of our community who are giving back this year,” said Associate Athletic Director Myranda Nash.
The Winona State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) divided the city of Winona into areas, with each team taking a section of the city and collecting donations. The student-athletes took advantage of the 90 minutes they were given to collect as many food items as possible. The drive began at 6:30 p.m. and all teams returned with their donations by 8:00 p.m.
“We are so proud of our student-athlete’s commitment to serving and with the massive help of those who donated to help fill the Food Shelf before this Holiday season,” said Nash.
Women’s Golf took home the prize of most cans collected per capita at 25 items each, while the Women’s Soccer team took home team’s best costume.