When Calumet College of St. Joseph's head women's basketball coach Steve Helm heard about the devastation that was occurring in Houston, he knew that he had to help in any way that he could. "My heart and prayers went out to those that had lost their loved ones and had their homes and belongs destroyed. I started to think right away about how I could help."
Helm's path for assisting in relief efforts came from within the basketball coaching community. At the University of Houston, right in the heart of the city that was thrown into chaos by Hurricane Harvey, men's basketball head coach Calvin Sampson was reaching out to the entire athletic community based on the influx of calls and messages he was receiving. Sampson would then go to Twitter with his plea. "I came up with something I think coaches at all levels can help with. Both men's and women's HS, JC, every level of college D1, D2, D3, and NAIA...if you can, please send 20 of your school’s t-shirts and 10 pairs of shoes."
Helm spread Sampson's message and got more help than he thought was possible. "Coach Kelvin Sampson provide the opportunity when he sent his message out to men and women basketball coaches at all levels. So I asked our student athletes to donate what they could." The donations that were collected by the Crimson Wave Athletic Department well exceeded the 20 shirts and 10 pairs of shoes requested. In total, more than 10 boxes full of clothing were collected and sent off to Houston, where they will go to those who are in most need of help.
One thing that Coach Helm preaches to his athletes is the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program. "I believe in community serve and servant leadership (one of the five values of the CoC), and that is a big part of the women's program here at CCSJ, our entire athletic department, the NAIA, and what we stand for. I wish we could be there in person to show our support."
The Crimson Wave Athletic Department is still accepting donations at the Rittenmeyer Center, though the focus has now shifted to hygiene and baby products, as well as pet supplies. Those interested in donating can drop off their items from now until the end of the week during regular business hours in the main lobby.
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