PHILADELPHIA – Wanting to get off campus and be more involved in community service projects, the University of Pennsylvania softball team took time out of its schedule in the month of November to do just that, joining both Walk Now for Autism Speaks and Cradles to Crayons. In past years, the Quakers have worked with Give Kids The World, Habitat for Humanity, and Team Impact.
On a cold and windy Sunday, Nov. 2 morning, the Red and Blue had an early wake-up call and headed down to Citizens Bank Park for their first community service project with Walk Now for Autism Speaks. The group was tasked with obtaining signatures for a petition to raise awareness about funding the program. Raising awareness was especially important to sophomore Casey Stevko.
“I'm so proud that our team could support a cause that affects so many families, including my own,” said Stevko. “I have always been passionate about spreading autism awareness, and I'm appreciative of our team's effort to join in spreading awareness by participating in this event.”
The team once again went out in the greater Philadelphia area for its second community service project, Cradles to Crayons, on Saturday Nov. 22. Once at the site, Penn split up to help sort through donation items and create Kid Packs. Requested orders, including a name and age, were provided to the Quakers to fill. Packs could include clothing, a winter jacket, hats and gloves, etc.
Senior captain Vanessa Weaver helped organize the trip.
“Cradles to Crayons was recommended to me by a friend whospoke very highly of the organization and the work that they do,” said Weaver. “And it stuck out as an organization that we wanted to work with because of their direct ties to the Philadelphia community. With Philadelphia having such a high level of poverty, a lot of kids need help finding just the bare necessities to get through a harsh winter or a single school year, and we wanted to do whatever we could to help.”
During the two-hour shift, the team filled more than 100 requests.