Sport clubs at Illinois State launched the first Clubs that Care event on Feb. 17 and collected over 100 items of canned food along with 40 units of blood during their two weeks of operation.
“Clubs that Care is a program-wide initiative and a week-long event including two activities, a blood drive and a canned food drive,” sport club coordinator James Wayne said.
The program began with a kickoff event on Sunday, Feb. 23, during which members of the sport club teams competed in games such as three-legged races and hula-hoop contests at Horton Field House. The badminton club took home first place.
“The kickoff event was meant to build team spirit and camaraderie within the clubs,” sport club graduate assistant Steven Karasewski said.
As a result of collaborations between Wayne, Karasewski and the sport clubs’ executive board, over 100 cans of food were collected to be donated to local food banks.
Forty units of blood were also collected, which is enough to save 120 lives, according to the American Red Cross.
“Several clubs don’t get out into the community as much as we would like and might not have the program-wide interest, so this event allows them to find an opportunity to give back on a personal basis as well as on behalf of the team.”
Of the 40 blood donors, 21 of them were first-time donors and many of them were sport club athletes looking to give back and help save a life.
Sport club council executive board secretary and triathlon president Rose Fasching, along with 29 other sport club athletes, volunteered collecting food items and signing people up for the blood drive.
“It was really exciting to be involved on campus and as a student, being able to participate [in] something big … Other than just competing in my sport was the best part,” Fasching said. “I also liked seeing other sport club members get involved.”
Based on the success of the event, the sport club program plans to continue to evolve and improve Clubs that Care and make it an annual event.
“We would like to do the kickoff event earlier in the semester to increase awareness and promote the programs … For additional events, we would like to give athletes and students the opportunity to get involved through volunteering and leadership,” Karasewski said.
Giving back to the community has always been an important part of the philosophy of the sport clubs program, and thanks to the Clubs that Care initiative, the program can continue to achieve its goal.
“We would just like to say thank you to the campus and community for supporting us with these events,” Wayne said.