Doane places in top 10 in Champions of Charity Service Competition
Community service, volunteering, and giving back. They’re one and the same, and all very important to Doane University.
Doane has long emphasized the importance of its students, faculty, and staff giving back and engaging with the community. This mindset carries over to the athletic department as well, and now the Tiger student-athletes are receiving recognition for their many selfless acts of kindness and good work.
Doane has placed in the top 10 nationally among NAIA schools in the newly formed Champions of Charity Service Competition.
The NAIA began a partnership with Champions of Charity last year to serve as the association’s official service and volunteer management partner for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years. Champions of Charity is a vehicle for academic institutions, businesses, and sports teams to build unity through community service. The organization’s vision is to create an environment where giving back to the community is an integral part of student development. To track volunteer hours for students at an institution, Champions of Charity is powered by the mobile app Helper Helper.
The NAIA invited its schools to participate in the 2019 Champions of Charity Service Competition, which took place Feb. 1-April 1, 2019. This competition offered student-athletes at participating schools a unique and fun experience to track service hours while strengthening community partnerships and enhancing the culture within the athletic department.
During this two-month period, 103 Doane student-athletes participated, completiting 470 service hours. This earned Doane the #6 rank in the nation for this competition.
“Giving back is very important to our department, but I believe even more so to most of our student-athletes,” said Matt Franzen, Doane’s athletic director. “Many of our kids report on our evaluations that they really enjoy the community service part of their team activities. Many enjoy giving back and for some, the enjoyment comes from the camaraderie they feel with their teammates as they work on projects. These are things that help to make the student-athlete experience special.”
Throughout the entire 2018-19 academic year, Doane student-athletes completed 3,516 service hours and Doane students who are not athletes completed 1,245 service hours. The 4,761 total service hours meant Doane students’ service had an impact value of $121,072. This number represents the amount non-profit organizations saved by volunteer’s work, calculated here.
Andrew Brown, assistant director of the Hansen Leadership Program and Community Service and Engagement, worked with Franzen to locate volunteer opportunities and track service hours via Helper Helper. Doane’s Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) also played a large role in getting the campus engaged in the competition.
“When we work together, thousands of lives can be changed for the better, across the state, nation and world,” Brown said. “There’s so much need in so many places – families stuck in the cycle of poverty, kids facing an uncertain future, friends and neighbors who just need a helping hand. It can happen to anyone at any time. I am thankful to be a part of an institution that harnesses the power of many to help our neighbors stand strong – by addressing basic needs and fostering success in the classroom and the workplace. Together, we can make our community stronger.”
When broken down into the most volunteer hours completed by individual teams, Doane had three teams place in the top 20 nationally. Doane’s men’s soccer team placed third, the cheer team placed fifth, and softball placed fifteenth.
Doane’s male student-athlete who completed the most service hours during the Champions of Charity Service Competition was Luke Urbonavicius ’22 and the female student-athlete who completed the most service hours was Haley Miller ’22.