“Being a part of the University of Alabama team is helping people when they need it. It’s not always about just being there on Saturday.” – Nick Saban, April 30, 2011
Alabama student-athletes have decades of history making a positive impact in Tuscaloosa and surrounding communities.
From visiting a hospitalized Tide fan, reading to area youth, speaking at local churches to volunteering at the RISE foundation, Alabama’s student-athletes had seen the power of their influence long before they saw their city and fellow citizens forever changed by April’s tornados. Community service and outreach is a key component of Alabama’s student-athlete development program and supports the core mission of Alabama athletics to continue building on a tradition of champions while insuring a future of leaders.
Leadership, the single statistic most important to winning championships is not something you will find in a box score or play-by-play review. So, forget the debate over scrimmage statistics and who may or may not play. Service to others, sharing your time and talents with those less fortunate, and making a positive difference in the lives of total strangers, these are the numbers that matter.
Inside the Numbers
5,000+ – number of hours Alabama student-athletes have given toward community service and outreach initiatives in the past year.
208 – Total days of community service performed by Alabama student-athletes
30 – weeks of community service performed by Alabama student-athletes
1.8 – for every hour and Alabama student athlete spends in the classroom and on the field, they spend 1.8 hours performing community service.
15 – Number of varsity sports at The University of Alabama, also the number of varsity sports with a community service initiative.
$1 million – amount given by the Alabama Athletic Department toward rebuilding efforts
Stunned by the events and destruction they had just minutes before witnessed, Tide athletes dispersed across Tuscaloosa searching for victim, assisting the injured and provided shelter for those left homeless by April 27’s devastating tornadoes. They fired up chainsaws and cleared the way for first responders. They manned victim assistance centers and at times they did nothing more than lend a shoulder to cry on and an open ear to those who needed to share their story.
The women’s basketball team in conjunction with Russell Relief, an effort started by senior Ericka Russell held a school supply drive in July for students affected by April’s tornadoes.
Impacted by the devastation of her adopted hometown, Softball infielder Courtney Conley organized a semi-truck trailer to be filled at her alma mater Eureka High School and driven to Tuscaloosa full of supplies to aid in disaster recovery.
Alabama head basketball coach Anthony Grant started a relief fund two days after April storms swept through Alabama. The mission of the Sweet Home Fund is to rebuild and help families in Alabama who have suffered major loss in the storms.
Nick’s Kids, the philanthropic fund established by Coach Nick Saban and wife Terry partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Project Team Up in rebuilding homes in the Holt area of Tuscaloosa. After putting up an undisclosed amount of personal money, Nick’s Kids received a donation of $250,000 from music superstar Taylor Swift’s Speak Now…Help Now fund. Nick’s Kids has joined Project Team Up along with Habitat for Humanity in rebuilding homes and that process is already well underway.
In addition to the community service projects listed above, Alabama’s student-athletes are involved year round in annual events like Power in Pink gymnastics’ meet, RISE Christmas Party and Halloween Extravaganza.
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