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Dec. 6, 2013

“Week of Giving” Photo Gallery

The football team’s annual “Thanksgiving with the Gamecocks” dinner with Epworth Children’s Home served as the unofficial kick-off to our first-ever “Week of Giving.” The new event was a takeoff from the biannual “Gamecocks Giving Back” project, but on a larger and longer scale. According to Erica N. Nelson, Gamecock Athletics’ Coordinator for Life Skills and Community Outreach, the initiative was designed to support several community partners and enable teams to give back this holiday season with a number of activities available over a more flexible period of time. The initiative was a big success, with all 21 Carolina teams participating throughout the week, cumulatively serving hundreds of hours at nine different organizations or schools.

“‘Gamecocks Giving Back’ is a one-day effort and we decided to extend it to a week-long initiative in ‘Week of Giving’ to allow teams to choose a project based on their interests and availability,” Nelson explained. “I’m very happy with the turnout with 100% participation by our teams.”

Activities included holiday gift wrapping, decorating, cooking, and other tasks at Ronald McDonald House, packing supplies at Harvest Hope Food Bank, speaking at local schools, making holiday cards for the military through the American Red Cross, visiting patients at the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, and helping take care of animals waiting for adoption at PETS Inc.

While the “Week of Giving” is one of the department’s largest individual initiatives to date, Gamecock student-athletes are active in the Columbia community throughout the year. For the 2012-13 school year our student-athletes completed 4,320 hours of community outreach. To date for the 2013-14 season, Gamecocks have already recorded over 3,000 hours, putting them on track to surpass last year’s number.

Check out an excerpt below and click here to read a feature story on “Week of Giving” in Spurs & Feathers:

Nelson said that the “Week of Giving” creates an opportunity for the student-athletes to feel good about giving back and puts things in perspective for them by helping out the less fortunate in their community. She added that she likes to give the student-athletes the option of choosing their activities so they enjoy them and continue to be involved in their communities on their own.

Search #WeekofGiving on Twitter to see daily pictures from the event, including a few shown below: