Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, the Purdue University Northwest athletic department actively helped out the local communities as student-athletes participated in a number of community service projects and other events to help serve others.
In total, both the Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central athletic departments accumulated more than 1,500 hours of community service.
“Community service and engagement is a point of pride for our athletic department,” Director of Athletics Rick Costello said. “Our student-athletes can make a tremendous difference in our communities and 2015-16 was just another great example of the amount of service our teams have contributed.”
Added Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Tom Albano: “I’m very satisfied with the commitment and hours our Student-Athletes gave during the school year to help better the youths of Laport and Porter County.”
“Our institution strives on giving back, and the countless hours they put in really help make a difference in peoples lives.”
To start off the year last August, 121 participants from all 12 Purdue Calumet sports came together to help out with the University’s Move in Day.
Purdue Calumet student-athletes assisted other students in moving into their rooms at University Village Housing by carrying suitcases and boxes full of clothing and other times, TV’s and more from their cars to their rooms to help the stressful transition of moving day run smoother.
During the winter, 95 student-athletes also helped with the Hammond Holiday Parade, where they gave out candy and took photos with the community of Hammond in the annual event.
Purdue Calumet’s volleyball team was recently involved in the Mom Prom, which helped raise awareness for Rett syndrome. The student-athletes helped with raffle prizes, a photo booth, set-up and tear-down, and taking donations.
The 160-person event was sold out and raised over $6,000 to help support Rett Syndrome, a disease that affects girls almost exclusively. It is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability.
The Purdue Calumet women’s soccer team volunteered for the Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation at their 5th annual St. Baldrick’s event at the Local Operating Engineers Hall in Merrillville, Ind.
The squad helped with setup and running different stations, which consisted of festival type games and prizes. Team members also helped to run the photo booth, bake sale and taking turns circulating the event dressed as Elmo.
This event was attended by community members, families affected by childhood cancer, including those children who recently completed and/or were still undergoing treatment.
The Purdue North Central campus also had their athletic programs help out in the community, including the Haunted Trail that all of the sports volunteered for around Halloween time.
Student-athletes from all six sport programs designed and created their own haunted trail throughout campus, setting up a haunting scene for members of the campus and community to walk through.
The PNC baseball team assisted with the Porter County boys and girls club camp, Valparaiso Parks kids baseball camp, and the Boone Grove High School baseball camp.
The Panther softball team, which won the 2016 CCAC Team Champions of Character award, assisted in a number of softball clinics around the Porter County area. PNC’s men’s basketball program also helped out with the Head Start Program in Valparaiso and the Read and Play program.
Other events the PNC department contributed to included Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives at the Porter County Food Pantry and PNC Food Pantry and the Daniel’s Cause Toy Drive.
Below are more ways the Purdue Northwest department served the community and supported other campus events in 2015-16:
- Kid’s Day events at two basketball games - Student-Athletes helped face paint, supervise bounce houses and interacted with fans. Both basketball teams also did a poster signing where kids could meet them and get the entire team’s autograph on a poster.
- R-DUB Club - Student-Athletes visited Hammond elementary classrooms and read different parts of books and stories to local children.
- New Student Orientations, where student-athletes assisted incoming students by answering questions about the University.
- Recess Buddies at the Riley Center and Woodland Childcare Centers in Hammond, where student-athletes helped demonstrate good sportsmanship in games and how to play fair.
- Easter Egg Hunt, where student-athletes helped designate areas for children to hunt for Easter eggs while also assisting kids in receiving other prizes and coloring books.
- Food Drive, where the Purdue Calumet Softball team helped run a food drive for United Way at Strack & Van Til in Schererville, Ind.
- Habitat for Humanity in Merrillville, Ind., where the men’s soccer team built a fence, packed shelves and assisted in moving heavy inventory to help set up shop.
- Student Convocation, where members of the men’s basketball team assisted in food distribution to students.