Daily Point of Light # 2443 Jun 17, 2003

The goal of the faculty and staff at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise is to make a positive difference in the lives of others by giving of their time and talents to help meet the physical and self-concept needs of people in the area. The athletes, coaches, trainers and athletic administration have worked to impact their community; however, they have also received because of their giving.

The women’s volleyball team volunteered to assist the 2002 summer Remote Area Medical Program. This program dispenses free medical and dental care to needy children and adults in the area. The women’s basketball and volleyball team also made 30 “sack bunnies” and 15 comforters during the month of October for the Child Advocacy Center for neglected and a used children. The men’s football and baseball teams provided free instructional clinics for area youth during the month of August. During both the men’s and women’s basketball games in the winter, the athletic department raised money and secured food donations for the Wise County Food Bank. In addition, the football team has an annual benefit basketball game with local media in December. All proceeds from the event go to the “Hope House” shelter for abused women and their children.

The athletic department as a whole sponsors the “Cavs and Kids” program where all are school age children can buy tickets for the football and basketball games at reduced prices. Then the individual schools get to keep all the money from the ticket sales to used for supplies the school needs at the time. In addition to sponsoring “Cavs and Kids”, the athletic department also sponsors the “Helping Hands” awards where they annually sponsor a male and female from each of the seven county towns who have volunteered their time to serve local youth in recreational and civic related pursuits. This is done with hopes of stimulating other adults to volunteer with young people.

Student athletes and coaches spoke at Wise Primary School during October and November on making good life choices. They touched on the importance of studying, avoiding drug and alcohol abuse and being kind to others. They also spoke to Pound High School classes about the importance of character and integrity. In addition, more than 150 student athletes volunteer their time to build the Wise Primary School Pow-Wow Playground. The school provided the equipment and materials and the University provided the labor.

The athletic administration also speaks to 60 to 75 area youth baseball and softball coaches annually about the importance of nurturing and self-concept building as they work with young children between the ages of 8 and 12. The men’s baseball team also adopted an area rest home patron as their #1 fan and treated her to awards and special on field activities during the spring of 2002. The women’s softball team also schedules regular visits with the residents of Heritage Hall Rest Homes.