When I arrived at Molloy College in 2005, one of my main focuses was finding community service opportunities for my team. When the program officially began in 2006, we started giving back to the community through several different events. Since then, our team has continually led the department in community service hours. Our team is able to give back and support the local community and those in need.
We have volunteered at a number of local youth lacrosse clinics. Working the clinics benefits both the participants and the student-athletes. For our athletes, it gives them the experience in teaching and interacting with kids who are willing to learn and get better at the game. This doesn’t only help them on field, but for our student-athletes who want to become teachers, it gives them experience they will use after they graduate. They also help our student-athletes who are becoming nurses. They find ways to relate and help others to enhance their experience on the field, which they will bring back to the classroom and when they help patients.
Our athletes have also learned the importance of taking care of those in need and the importance of giving back. Through varied events, such as food drives, clothing drives, donating to different charities, and playing charity games, they feel more grateful for what they have and have gotten to know the people in the local community. We have also played in the Shootout for Soldiers. We joined teams from the area for a 24-hour lacrosse marathon. Our athletes stayed up through the night and played games to support our troops and stayed to continue to help run the stations. Coming together with local teams showed them that helping others is more than just the game. When people come together to support the same cause and bring people joy, no one goes home upset.
The best part of these events is seeing the smiles and joy on the people’s faces that we help. When you see their reaction, you realize how much impact you are having on the people you are helping. On the field, we also find ways to give back to the community. We have a “Lead the Way” game once a year to benefit the organization helping our troops. The team orders T-shirts that are sold to raise money for charity and also raise money through different raffles during the game in an effort to improve the lives of those that have given so much for our freedom. This event brings the entire Molloy community together to help and raise awareness for a good cause.
We may not win the National Championship on the field, but when our team comes together and helps the community, we never leave disappointed or upset. We have participated in many events during my 13 years at Molloy, and through our good works we have helped many people and it has helped our athletes grow on the field as players, but more importantly off the field as individuals and future professionals. When it comes to community service, it is always about serving others and not yourself. When you go out to serve others, everyone wins. My hope is that our athletes take what they learned at these events and continue to help the community after they graduate. If they continue to do so, their actions will continue to change the world for the better.