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Coastal Athletics steps up to the plate to provide relief for hurricane victims

By Conner Uptegrove

Coastal Carolina University Department of Athletics once again helped in times of need by gathering donations to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey and organizing the delivery to Katy, Texas, for distribution recently.

Every year, the Department of Athletics tackles community service issues by donating time and energy to different philanthropy organizations. This year, seven Coastal Carolina sports teams participated in the Sept. 16 Day of Giving by unloading, sorting, packing and labeling supplies bound for Texas relief.

These student-athletes were from men’s and women’s track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse, women’s basketball, and the dance team.

For more than two weeks before the event, Coastal Athletics used the Victory Bell next to the stadium as the drop-off point for a campuswide drive for provisions such as toiletries, cleaning products, pet items, baby necessities and school supplies. The seven teams involved in the relief drive partnered with Lewis Truck Lines to fill a trailer 53 feet long.

“Lewis Truck Lines partnered with us last year for the Louisiana project as well,” says Cari Rosiek, Coastal Carolina University’s associate athletics director. In 2016, student athletes held a relief drive for those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Louisiana by collecting supplies during soccer, volleyball and football games. Louisiana suffered from historic flooding after the storm last year.

The Harvey donations didn’t stop at supplies. The teams also collected $2,974 in cash, which was donated to the Sun Belt Conference’s hurricane relief effort through the website GoFundMe.

Several area businesses supported the relief drive through donations, including Myrtle Beach Family Golf, Rockin’ Jump, Anderson Brothers Bank and ShipOnSite.

The truck hauling the supplies arrived at its destination where major flooding and devastation occurred in Katy, Texas, on Sept. 18. While the student-athletes wished they could have personally unloaded the shipment, Hurricane Irma’s potential impact prevented them from helping relief efforts on site with delivery.

Coastal Athletics staff expressed thanks for community support of the project. “The overwhelming response to assist others in a time of need is a true testament to human kindness,” says Rosiek.

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