University of Chicago student-athletes are involved in a multitude of service projects and service organizations throughout the academic year. The varsity teams consistently set aside time to provide assistance both locally in Hyde Park and in the general Chicagoland area.
Women's Athletic Association and Order of the "C"
The Women's Athletic Association holds an annual "Hoops for Hyde Park" fundraising raffle. The organization raised more than $4,400 for two local elementary schools in 2012-13 - Fuller Elementary and Woodlawn Elementary Community School. The money went towards new equipment for the schools' physical education departments. Hoops for Hyde Park has raised more than $38,000 since 1989.
The Order of the "C" is consistently involved with community service projects each academic year. Each winter, the OOC hosts a food and clothing drive which collects donated items for delivery to the St. Columbanus Food Pantry. Annual donations consistently measure between 600 to 1,400 pounds of goods.
The Order of the "C" and the Women's Athletic Association spearheaded an effort to support the local Hyde Park Neighborhood Club in April 2013. More than 110 UChicago student-athletes and a dozen athletic staff members performed a variety of tasks. The large contingent of workers, representing all 19 varsity sports, spent two-and-a-half hours engaged in volunteer labor tasks that included cleaning debris from the front entrance; cleaning the outdoor playlot; digging a trench to prevent flooding; washing walls and windows; cleaning, sanitizing and organizing the toy room; organizing and cleaning two classrooms and laying a tile skate floor in the gymnasium. Additionally, more than 30 bags of outdoor yard waste were collected and picked up.
National Charitable Organizations
Friends of Jaclyn Foundation
The UChicago softball, women's basketball and women's soccer teams have adopted a child through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which partners children with brain tumors and local athletic programs. The Maroons have involved themselves positively in the lives of the children in a number of ways, including: visits to the hospital and doctor's appointments; invitations to team practices and games; home visits in the summer; attending concerts and plays; prom dress shopping; outings to pumpkin patches in the fall; and an annual "dorm crawl" to all the players' rooms on campus for activities and crafts, amongst others.
Ted Mullin "Hour of Power" Relay for Cancer Research
The "Hour of Power" is a nation-wide relay done by swimming programs at evey level (high school, club, collegiate, masters) all over the country to raise awareness and funding for sarcoma cancer research. The men's and women's swimming and diving teams participate annually on the first Tuesday of every November from 4-5 PM (central time) and have raised several thousand dollars since 2006.
Relay for Life - American Cancer Society
The men's basketball team has been an active fundraising group since Relay for Life came to UChicago's campus. Every member of the team, coaches and former players have participated in recent years and raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.
The women's basketball team took part in the Relay for Life fundraising event held on campus in 2012. Their Friends of Jaclyn adoptee Kaitlyn participated with the team during the 24-hour event. The volleyball team also participated as a team in Relay for Life and other student-athletes have been involved as members of fraternity and sorority groups.
Ronald McDonald House
Women's soccer spends time at the Ronald McDonald House as an ongoing project. The team is on-call for any big projects and help out every three to four weeks by baking treats or making a dinner.
The Maroons baseball team provides a clinic each year for the West Englewood youth involved in Play for Life, Inc., an organization founded and run by baseball alumnus Colin Decker and his wife. The players teach skills and speak about responsibility and the importance of education.
Track and field's "Learn by Doing" Clinic for University of Chicago Track Club (UCTC) youth members is another spring event. The men's and women's squads combine to teach the members of the UCTC youth program the technical event areas of the sport.
The wrestling team conducted four days of wrestling clinics for the wrestling coaches and athletes at Kenwood Academy. Each day, six different UChicago wrestlers worked individually with the athletes and Head Coach Leo Kocher worked with the athletes and coaches.
The men's basketball team attended a local middle school as a part of the NABC Ticket to Reading Rewards program to promote literacy. Players and coaches read to the students and discussed the value and joy of reading. Students at the school were given tickets to a UChicago basketball game for their involvement.
Currently, both the men's and women's tennis teams are committing around 10 hours per week at Andrew Carnegie Elementary School. During the sessions at the school, they help students learn new material by working closely with the teachers. The students are broken into groups of 6-7 and one of the athletes leads a one-hour session.
In September 2012, the men's soccer team travelled north to Chinatown. For five hours, 25 student-athletes and two coaches picked up garbage in Ping Tom Park, located just south of 18th Street. Additionally, they travelled many of the side streets in Chinatown square picking up garbage, recycling bottles and cans, and disposing of general waste.
Several members of the men's cross country team served as guides for legally-blind runner Adrian Broca during the 2011 Chicago Marathon. Eleven members of the men's team took turns during the marathon serving as his guide. They did this in relay fashion by running for about six miles in a group of two or three people at a time.
Thirty football players joined orientation aides to assist with freshmen move-in day. In previous years, they have also assisted with traffic control.
Members of the women's basketball team and coaching staff go to the hospital as a group to donate blood about three times during the year. This is done in the off-season with students who are interested and able to donate.
International Travel Service
While in Costa Rica, the 2011 volleyball team bought, delivered and donated a variety of art supplies to a local elementary school where they also had the opportunity to speak and play with the young children for half a day.