The Pitt-Greensburg women’s basketball team proudly partners with the Greensburg Salvation Army and Special Olympics of Pennsylvania – Westmoreland County.
These partnerships began when head coach, Erin Eaton, was first hired. The first organization to respond to her when she reached out to volunteer organizations was The Salvation Army. Since then, the partnership has benefited everyone involved.
“They have provided us with numerous opportunities to volunteer in our local community through Project Bundle-Up, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Bell Ringing for the Red Kettle Campaign, the Toy Room,” Eaton said.
The team’s partnership with Special Olympics has also been a success. The relationship with Special Olympics came through the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). The team plays a big role with “SOPA Hoops Saturday” and has hosted local Special Olympic athletes on campus said Eaton.
Eaton also believes the volunteer work her team does helps build character through the lesson it teaches.
“Sometimes it’s easy for an 18-23 year old to get lost in the day to day “drama” and forget how lucky they are to have the opportunity to earn a college degree – which isn’t something everyone has the chance to do,” Eaton stated.
Because of this, the team focuses on obtaining commitments from quality people rather than just good players. Eaton believes the volunteer work allows her team to build a connection with Greensburg, where her team has made their “home away from home” during college.
It’s not just the basketball program who can benefit from volunteer worth, though. Eaton suggests – for those who want to help but just don’t know how to get involved – call or stop by local organizations. Organizations have different needs, from time, to supply, or monetary donations.
Eaton ended the interview with a powerful quote we should all aspire to follow as well.
“If you want to help, go make it happen. One of my favorite quotes is – “Those who have should always give to those who have not” – and I’ve tried to live my life that way.”