UWS Athletes Kick Off 'Week Of Giving' Effort By Donating Toys

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: December 03, 2018 07:21 PM

Athletes at the University of Wisconsin-Superior(UWS) are giving back to the community through the Week of Giving effort, a week long opportunity to spread holiday cheer to Northlanders in need.


"Anytime you get that opportunity to give back, especially in the position we are in as athletic students, you want to give back to the community, especially the one you're surrounded by,” Eric Watson, a UWS student athlete said.

UWS’s athletic department is hosting its third annual Week of Giving where athletes donate, volunteer, and help the community through a variety of activities.

"Each of our programs wants to sponsor a child this holidays season. It’s important to us. We hope no child has to go through the holiday without a gift," Nick Bursik, the athletics director for UWS, said.

Each athletic department bought a special gift for a child in need. A small but significant gesture that will bring a smile to the lucky gift recipient. The gifts ranged from toys, board games, and clothing. The students met at the Marcovich Wellness Center Monday to wrap the gifts together.

"We got our child 'fingerlings,' these monkey things to play with that attach to their fingers, and we got them a paint set and note pad,” Claire Smith, A UWS student athlete said.

"It’s great to come together as a group, have a little bit of bonding in the athletic department, and different sports coming together for a great cause,” Watson said.

Students put their gift wrapping skills to the test and attached a personal handwritten card to each gift.

"It feels really good to know that they'll open it and be very excited about it, just like I was when I was a kid opening gifts. You’re always excited to see what it is so it feels good that we can give that to them," Annah Schussman, a UWS student athlete said.

Spreading holiday joy to the less fortunate is what a Week of Giving is focused on.

"I think the way the world is now, there’s a need for society’s role to be together and understand that what divides us really brings us together. I think that's something we all want to strive for,” Watson said.

"It's special for the department. Community service is a big part of our mission statement so this Week of Giving is all about getting out in the community and giving back,” Bursik said.

The week long effort features a variety of activities that includes:

Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., student athletes ringing bells for the Salvation Army at Super One Harbor View in Superior.

Dec. 5 student athletes will make root beer floats with residents at New Perspective Senior Living Center at 11:30 a.m.

Dec. 6, student athletes will go door-to-door throughout Superior from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. collecting donations benefiting the food shelf at St. Vincent de Paul.

Last year the Week of Giving effort donated almost 1,000 pounds of food to the food shelf.

Dec. 7, the department’s athletic staff members will volunteer at events at Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. They’ll be at the 'Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor' drive-up food donation from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m., and then at the food bank from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The women’s hockey game on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. will be the team’s Cause Game, with proceeds from jersey sales and apparel sales going to the food bank.

The week closes with athletes volunteering at Bentleyville on Dec. 9 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

During all Week of Giving home games, athletes will be collecting toys to benefit the Superior Fire Department’s Toys for Tots toy drive.


Alejandra Palacios

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