Dec. 25, 2005
It may be the spirit of competition that drives Butler student-athletes on the field, but it was the spirit of the holidays that led them to open their hearts to a family less fortunate this Christmas.
Under the guide of Assistant Athletic Director for Student Development and Academic Support Mindy Franklin, a group of student-athletes adopted a local family in coordination with the Hope 4 the Holidays program. Hope 4 the Holidays is organized by the Children's Bureau, Inc., and sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and Indiana's WB 4 television station.
When looking for a family to sponsor, Franklin noted that while every family involved with the program deserved a special holiday experience, they were looking for the one for which they could do the most good. What they found was a family of children who had lost their mother this year to breast cancer and are currently living with a grandfather who has limited income and had also suffered from health problems.
"They had that special, heart-tugging story I was looking for," said Franklin. "Grandpa made a death-bed promise to his daughter that he would take care of her children.
Student-athletes representing all 17 sports offered by the Butler Athletics Department participated in the effort, donating a total of $1,100. The donations were then used to purchase clothing, hair and bath supplies, toys and games and an artificial Christmas tree, complete with lights, tinsel and ornaments. The students also provided the family with a disposable camera to record their Christmas memories.
The gifts were delivered to the family on Wednesday, Dec. 14. In addition to the delivery, the student-athletes spent time with the family, decorating the tree and singing Christmas songs.
"It was an emotional experience both for me and for the student-athletes," said Franklin. "I think this is the kind of thing you have to witness and be involved in to truly appreciate the many meanings of Christmas."
The Children's Bureau, Inc. is a not-for-profit agency that offers more than 30 programs, including counseling, group home care, teen pregnancy services, crisis center care, adoption services and foster care. For more information on the programs and services offered by the Children's Bureau, Inc., visit www.childrensbureau.org.
-- Story courtesy of Horizon League communications staff