Deacons Giving Back
Dec. 19, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - With exams done and Christmas on the horizon, the women's basketball team has an opportunity to sit back and reflect on the past semester. And what a semester it was.
On top of the typical class load at one of the top private universities in the country, the players had to adjust to a new coaching staff while getting ready for 30-game regular season. Despite the constant demands on their time, one of the best parts about being a student-athlete at Wake Forest is the opportunity to connect with the community.
This fall, the Demon Deacons participated in a number of community services activities, including Habitat for Humanity, Eat With The Deacs, Project Pumpkin, Hit the Bricks and Santa's Helper.
The Deacons took part in Habitat for Humanity this past October, putting the finishing touches on a house with a little paint.
"It was fun getting to paint this year," said senior Asia Williams. "In the past years, we put the doors in, hung the house addresses and nailed the trim into place. It's cool to go past the house later and know that we helped build a home for a family."
Two different evenings during the fall, the Deacs invited area youngsters to campus to have dinner with the team as part of Eat With The Deacs. The players answered questions about everyday life and also offered up a couple of autographs.
Project Pumpkin is an entire campus activity where student groups host trick-or-treaters from around the community on the quad. Each group puts together games and activities for the kids to earn their loot. The student-athletes facilitate a sports obstacle course that included elements of baseball, soccer, football and track.
Hit The Bricks is one of the oldest traditions at Wake Forest. Each autumn, groups of individuals run laps on Hearn Plaza around the Reynolda Quad to raise money for cancer research. This year, 93 teams completed 25,396 laps around the plaza, and while the final pledges are still coming in, it looks like Hit the Bricks will come very close to meeting this year's goal of $30,000.
Santa's Helpers, now in its 27th year, provides toys for underprivileged children in the Winston-Salem area. The non-profit organization solicits donations throughout the year and provides toys to families whose names are provided by the Salvation Army. The student-athletes help by wrapping the gifts and then delivering them to families around the community. Santa's Helper was the inspiration of Chip Rives, a Wake Forest football player in the mid 1980s.
Senior Sandra Garcia has participated in Santa's Helpers four times has used her Hispanic background in a unique way.
"My favorite part of Santa's Helpers was being a translator for our group," Garcia said. "We gave gifts to a couple of Hispanic families and I was able to interact with them. It's fun seeing the smiles on the children's faces. Seeing them happy because of what we were able to provide is a great feeling."