NCAA News Archive - 2008

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Student-athlete notes: Thanks to MASCAC

Student-athletes at North Central (Minnesota) collected approximately 200 pairs of shoes for the Soles4Souls organization. Photo courtesy North Central (Minnesota)
Jul 24, 2008 1:00:19 AM

The NCAA News

Student-athletes in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference knew their efforts  in April to ship care packages to soldiers serving in Iraq would be appreciated, but they were touched just the same by a letter received from one of the recipients.

“It gets hard here sometimes and just the idea of knowing you have someone thinking about you really does mean a whole lot,” wrote SFC Delzene Jones, a 23-year Army veteran who arrived in Iraq April 8 -- the same day that the student-athletes gathered to pack 275 boxes with such items as food, personal-care goods and books.

One of the boxes went to Jones, who wrote in a letter that she gave the MASCAC permission to post on its Web site, “I would love to meet all of you someday.”

Shoes off their feet

Shoes are a symbol of athletic performance, says North Central (Minnesota) cross country coach Trey Meadows. So, when student-athletes are willing to give away the shoes off their own feet, they are giving something of themselves.

Student-athlete leaders at the school, a provisional Division III member, encouraged donations of shoes to an organization called Soles4Souls during North Central’s annual Athletics Chapel service. Four student-athletes shared personal stories of “hurt and struggle” in their own lives, then basketball student-athlete Phil Johnson encouraged students and other university community members attending the service to donate the shoes they were wearing as a sign of unity with people elsewhere in the world who have none.

The request resulted in the donation of about 200 pairs of “gently used” athletic, casual and dress shoes.

“There were a lot of shoes and I was surprised by how many almost new shoes were donated,” said Amy Sletten, a women’s basketball team captain. One student also donated $200 to help cover the cost of shipping the shoes.

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