Student-athlete "Day of Service" to benefit the homeless

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith

Oct. 2, 2013

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State’s nearly 400 student-athletes are challenged to make a difference in competition and in the classroom.

Collectively, those student-athletes have come together to make a difference in fighting homelessness in Northern Colorado through  “Rams Care: Day of Service.”

“We wanted to have one event where all the student-athletes come all together for a common goal,” said Michelle Smith, a member of the Rams' volleyball team.  Smith is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). 

SAAC meets in a bi-weekly forum to discuss ideas and issues pertinent to the athletics program.   SAAC provides input regarding the school’s Life Skills programs, athletic department policies, conference regulations and NCAA guidelines.  SAAC is composed of two appointed representatives from each of the school’s 16 sport programs and functions to build a sense of community among the administration, coaches, and student-athletes.

Smith said the advisory committee sought to have all student-athletes have an impact on a social issue in Northern Colorado.  The group has focused on fighting homelessness in the area.

“We want to make a really big statement:  We want to have an impact locally and give back to the Fort Collins community, specifically the homeless.”

Smith and fellow SAAC members are organizing a series of collection dates that included a volleyball match (Oct. 12 vs. Boise State) football game (Nov. 2 vs. Boise State).  Volunteers will also be on hand for the home men’s basketball game against the University of Colorado (Dec. 3), soliciting cash donations.

Once the donations have been collected, Smith said, all student-athletes will come together on a specific day to assemble holiday gift baskets to be distributed through a local non-profit charity organization to homeless families.

Smith said she and fellow SAAC members, researching how the group could make a difference, began researching local organizations.

Estimates state that more than 1,000 people are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Fort Collins.

“We didn’t even know there was a homeless shelter in Fort Collins,” she said.  “Sometimes as student-athletes we can get so caught up with our busy lives that it can be easy to forget that there are numerous opportunities for us to get involved.

“Giving back is an important part of our experience as Colorado State student-athletes.  Hopefully this project will give us an even greater appreciation for our scholarships and help us realize the impact we can have on the lives of the less fortunate in Fort Collins.”

“It’s exciting to move forward from here.”

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