DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia College & State University Department of Athletics and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have joined forces with the Community Helping Place to make sure families will have a meal on the table this Christmas.
"This has been an annual tradition the North Georgia SAAC has undertaken," Hilary Cox said, who represents North Georgia and the Peach Belt Conference as an NCAA Division II National SAAC representative. "The student-athletes feel a sense of pride knowing that each year we are providing families with their Christmas meal."
All 10 intercollegiate sports at North Georgia, including the cheerleading squad and the Athletic Trainers collected over 700 items of food to produce complete meals for 56 families in the local community. The food collected by the Department of Athletics was placed with the same initiative from the university to produce 2,454 pounds of food that was donated to the Community Helping Place.
"The people of Dahlonega hold a special place in our hearts as athletes because they show such tremendous support for our teams throughout the year, Cox said, who is a member of the North Georgia softball team that played in front of record attendances for three consecutive days at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium during last season's NCAA Southeast Regional. "Providing food for these families was the least we could do to show our appreciation."
The university also collected over 350 toys that were donated to the Community Helping Place that will be distributed to children in Lumpkin County this Christmas. The North Georgia men's basketball team partnered with the organization the week before Christmas to unload the toys and prepare them for delivery to the children.
"The opportunity to work with the Community Helping Place and the White Christmas program is a great honor for our program," head men's basketball coach Chris Faulkner said. "This is a program our players have been involved with for several years they always enjoy the chance to give back to the community."
The Community Helping Place is located in Dahlonega, Georgia, and is dedicated to assisting those in need in Lumpkin County. Services include a food pantry, free clinic, emergency financial assistance (for rent, utilities, etc,), referral support services and family resource counselor.
These services are made possible by the generous donations of individuals, businesses, churches, and civic groups. They also rely on approximately 180 volunteers who donate their time to help meet the needs of others in their community. To get involved in the Community Helping Place click here or call them at 706-867-9621.