Members of the University of Mary Washington community kept the gifts coming this winter, before – and after – the holidays. Students, staff, sports teams, clubs, and others gave blood, painted porches, and participated in an array of service projects designed to brighten the season for many Fredericksburg-area families.
Here are some ways UMW helped out in December:
• Members of club sports teams and the ELS Language Center arranged Toys for Tots collections, gathering games, books, and playthings as Christmas gifts for children in families facing financial hardships.
• The One Note Stand a cappella group asked those who came to its wintertime concert to bring nonperishable food items for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, and the Department of Athletics collected more than a ton of food for the organization.
• COAR conducted its annual Head Start Gift Box Drive, packing new toothbrushes, scarves, gloves, books, and toys for underprivileged children into gift-wrapped shoeboxes.
• The Staff Advisory Council arranged a community-wide Holiday Help for the Homeless drive to collect necessary items for needy families.
Here are some of the service projects that took place in January:
• The UMW community held a blood and bone marrow matching drive.
• The University invited children ages 5 to 12 to participate in games, activities, and crafts at the Woodard Campus Center.
• The James Farmer Multicultural Center posted a daylong list of service projects reflecting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to social justice and asked the UMW community to participate.
• UMW rugby club players spent a late January weekend painting, mulching, and doing various chores for Empowerhouse, formerly known as the Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence.
Here is some information about how UMW athletes excel and give:
• UMW’s 400-some varsity student-athletes carry full course loads, and more than half of them keep their grade point averages above 3.0. Still the Eagles’ standing for overall athletic excellence stays at the top among Division III schools.
• Teams host clinics for local youngsters, officiate youth contests, and participate in the annual Special Olympics 5K Fun Run, hosted by UMW Basketball.
• During men’s basketball season, players made regular visits to an elementary school to read to students.
• Women’s teams have raised thousands of dollars for cancer research. Women’s basketball players support Locks of Love, and some have donated their hair to make wigs for children with cancer.
• During its NCAA Final Four run last fall, UMW field hockey raised nearly $1,500 for Alzheimer’s disease awareness by sponsoring a walk.
• Women’s soccer and basketball teams helped Friends of the Rappahannock with river conservation efforts.