DENTON (12/20/04) North Texas student-athletes found time this holiday season to volunteer with the Salvation Army and collect canned goods for the athletic department's annual food drive.
More than 40 student-athletes took an active role this year in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive.Several teams participated including tennis, women’s basketball, volleyball, as well as men’s and women’s golf. For the last four weekends, the Mean Green worked in shifts at the Golden Triangle Mall and nearby stores to help raise money. The North Texas student-athletes raised $1,160.50 to help families out this Christmas.
Student-athletes were also busy collecting food for the department's annual canned food drive. They raised a total of 1523 pounds of food. Of that amount, 783 pounds went to the Denton Community Food Center and the remaining 740 pounds went to help out the Salvation Army Food Pantry. The athletes brought in over 364 pounds of rice alone and 270 pound of bagged beans, which are primary food staples that is distributed to every family that visits the food centers. The teams also brought over 173 pounds of coffee, an item not readily available at the food center. The coffee was topped by 95 pounds of sugar to help sweeten. Other student-athletes brought in personal care items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
The women’s soccer team ended up with the best overall team performance by bringing in 232 pounds of rice and 123 pounds of coffee. The women’s swimming and diving team followed. Individually, Aziza Aba-Butain of the women’s tennis team led the charge bringing in 120 pounds of flour, 88 pounds of sugar, 135 pounds of beans, and 30 pounds of rice. This year’s donations saw a more than 50 percent increase in total food poundage over last year’s total.
The athletes collected food from a variety of places: dorms, parents, neighbors. Others went out themselves and purchased items from the grocery store. Many classmates and community members took notice of the food the student-athletes were bringing in and asked what they could do to help out.
Prior to the North Texas men's basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 22, the North Texas Athletic Department will be collecting items for the Salvation Army Food Pantry. If you bring 2 canned food or non-perishable items you will receive a Premium Chairback seat for just $3. That is a savings of $7 per ticket for assisting a great cause during the holiday season. If you will be unable to attend the game on the 22nd but would still like to make a donation, items can be dropped off at the North Texas Athletic Department during regular business hours.