NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, over 380 student-athletes at Cal State Northridge recently participated in their annual adopt-a-family event. Led by the Matadors’ Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), in collaboration with the M.E.N.D. (Meeting Every Need with Dignity) adopt-a-family program, the Matadors adopted a local in-need family and provided them with gifts and groceries to ensure a joyous holiday and new year.
The Matadors raised over $1,400 this fall for their adopted family of two adults and six children who live in a two-bedroom apartment. After a frenzied shopping spree, CSUN student-athletes took a break from finals to wrap and deliver the gifts on Friday, Dec. 14.
“We are very proud of the generous manner in which the student-athletes contributed out of their own pockets. The student-athletes understand that they are providing a holiday celebration to a family that might not otherwise had had much in the way of gift giving,” said Janet Pinneau, the CSUN Associate Athletics Director of Student Services. “Every year our student-athletes become more and more generous in giving their time and resources to those in need. This is a wonderful tradition that continues to grow.”
SAAC President Haley Hawes, a senior team captain on women’s soccer, was happy to see her fellow student-athletes be so involved in the annual event. In fact, every athletic program increased its donation from last year.
“It is nice to help out those in need, it is what the holidays are all about,” Hawes said. “We met with the family and then spent two days shopping filling their lists. We were able to purchase a stroller, microwave and lots of toys and clothes.”
Other key contributors to the project came from women's soccer (Chloe McDaniel, Haley Chee, Brianna Geffre, Leandra Walker, Nicole Thompson), women's water polo (Katie Kammer, Melissa Doll) and women's track and field (Fany Alvarado, Sam Dirks, Jenna Yowell).
“It is gratifying to see our student-athletes join together and pay it forward during this holiday season,” said Ashlie Kite, CSUN Associate Athletics Director of Internal Operations and Administrator in Charge. “All the work and effort they had to put into this event is a tribute to the holiday’s philanthropic spirit.”