July 23, 2014
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - With a new academic year approaching, late July is usually spent soaking up the final rays of sunshine before hitting the books again in August.
For WKU junior Megan Shefchik, a member of the WKU Topperettes, and many of her fellow student-athletes that are part of the WKU Athletics department, July 23 was found to be a day of impacting the community.
With coaches, staff and student-athletes joining forces, WKU Athletics came together to have around 130 people contribute 275 hours to the annual United Way Day of Caring as part of WKU's Hilltoppers With Heart efforts.
"We want to support our community and are proud to do it while representing WKU," said Shefcik, who alongside some of her teammates came up with quotes and flower designs to add to the wall paintings the group was doing at Oakland Elementary.
Shefcik was originally scheduled to work just two hours as part of the project, but ended up staying for four hours to make a bathroom at Oakland Elementary. Several of her teammates drove more than two hours to work. Among others, members of the WKU Volleyball team, including head coach Travis Hudson, painted another bathroom at the school, adding the quotation "Knowledge is Power" to one of the walls.
The work at Oakland Elementary was one of three projects that WKU participated in as part of the Day of Caring.
Players, coaches and staff from WKU also made contributions at the Family Enrichment Center on Adams Street as well as at Warren East Middle School.
Throughout the region, nearly 1,000 volunteers representing 70 companies across Allen, Barren, Logan, Simpson, and Warren Counties joined local non-profit organizations to complete more than 76 projects.
The United Way Day of Caring is a structured volunteer opportunity that provides participants with a peek at volunteering. As part of the Day of Caring, businesses make a commitment to offer their employees a chance to "step away from their desks" to provide hands-on, volunteer labor for a wide variety of projects. Team participation in the Day of Caring aids in building camaraderie and goodwill among employees while also helping the community.
"It was really important to us that we were able to do two projects in the city of Bowling Green," said associated athletic director Lindsay Boyden. "But for the first time in the four years we have been part of the Day of Caring, we were able to venture outside of Bowling Green and contribute at Oakland Elementary.
"We enjoy the chance to impact people in the community in different ways, from working in schools to putting places like the Family Enrichment Center in a position to be successful in helping those in the community that need their assistance," said Boyden. "This is one of the best days of the year in our community. So many different companies around the city get involved in this project and we are proud to be part of the efforts around Southern Kentucky."
Other Happenings around the Community
- Men's Basketball and Women's Basketball team members visited the Bowling Green Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday, July 9.
- Men's Basketball volunteered at the Housing Authority of Bowling Green "Block Party" for the youth on Friday, July 11.
- Women's Basketball team members visited the Duncan Hines Festival at Chaney's Dairy Barn on Saturday, July 12.