New Liberty Flames student-athletes served the community during the month of July at Park View Community Mission, in the first of many community service events for the #FlamesGiveBack campaign.
Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, Liberty student-athletes will serve the Lynchburg community and surrounding area under the initiative of #FlamesGiveBack. Last year, Liberty student-athletes logged more than 13,000 hours of community service.
Summer Bridge student-athletes collected personal hygiene items to donate to Park View. Those items were then distributed to the families in need during the two Saturdays (July 15 and 22) that Summer Bridge students volunteered at the Park View Community Mission in downtown Lynchburg.
On both days, incoming Liberty Flames student-athletes spent five hours each day unloading donated food from delivery trucks, sorting and organizing the food for distribution in the pantry. The team of student-athletes then assisted in running the distribution to families by checking them in, carrying their groceries to their cars and loading up grocery carts with food items.
"Without the community, without the fans, there really is no football team. They support us," said Flames freshman football student-athlete Elisha Mitchell. "I come from having that type of need, so it means a lot to me to give back and help others."
Liberty Academic & Student-Athlete Development Coordinator Jordan Bartlett and the rest of the Academic Affairs for Athletics Staff helped organize the efforts. Bartlett said the Summer Bridge community service initiative helped serve a three-fold purpose, starting with serving the community.
Secondly, it helped acclimate new student-athletes with the Park View facility, a place Liberty Athletics volunteers regularly throughout the year. Finally, the opportunity enables student-athletes to jump right in to serving with the rest of their teams beginning in September.
"You kind of learn the ropes, you know what to expect and how to do it better next time, to be more efficient and helpful," stated Lady Flames freshman softball student-athlete Madison Via. "It means a lot to me to be able to give back to this community because they support us in our sports."
Liberty Flames athletic teams volunteer at Park View Community Mission's Food For Families Days at least twice a month during the school year.
As student-athletes return in August and beginning preparing for their respective sports seasons, their next initiative will be to raise funds for the Dollar Makes a Difference Campaign. In 2016, Liberty athletics teams raised a new record amount.
The money raised from the campaign will be used to purchase school supplies such as folders, backpacks, pens, crayons, markers, glue sticks and notebooks. These supplies will be distributed throughout the Lynchburg City Schools as well as schools in Roanoke City, Amherst County and Campbell County districts.
Follow Liberty's student-athlete community service efforts throughout the 2017-18 academic year by using the hashtags #FlamesGiveBack and #PayitForward.