Student-athletes spread Christmas Cheer in December
This past December, Elon’s student athletes teamed up to provide gifts for nine Alamance County children with the local nonprofit organization Christmas Cheer.
Elon student-athletes were excited for Christmas this year, but not because it marked the end of finals week or the start of winter holiday. This year, the student-athlete body committed to sponsor nine children in Alamance County through Christmas Cheer, a local nonprofit organization that provides Christmas assistance in the form of gifts, food, and warm clothes to families struggling financially. Organized by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), student-athletes across Elon’s 17 sports programs elected to participate in this program, many for the first time in their careers at Elon.
“It was so inspiring to see the student-athletes work together to collect the funds, shop, and prepare Christmas packages for the children they sponsored,” said Molly McInerney, Student Services Coordinator for Elon Athletics. “You could really tell they put a lot of time and thought into making sure they purchased everything they could to provide the best Christmas possible for the children they sponsored.”
Christmas Cheer has been providing Christmas assistance to families in Alamance County for over 80 years, relying heavily on the generosity of local community businesses, organizations, and individuals such as Elon student-athletes. In addition to gifts, the nonprofit also coordinates the donation of food and warm clothes, along with other essential needs such as heating assistance, prescription medication, and school supplies.
Student-athlete involvement with Christmas Cheer is part of a larger effort of Elon Athletics’ new partnership with the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. Molly McInerney, Student Services Coordinator for Elon Athletics, and Sarah Williams, Program Coordinator for the Kernodle Center, are managing an NCAA grant that, in part, is focused on increasing student- athlete involvement in service, providing education around social issues and community engagement, expanding involvement in the Service ELR, and documenting the student-athletes’ service.
Any student-athletes wishing to volunteer in the local community or learn more about the Service ELR can reach out to Molly McInerney.