Written by Student Assistant Sarah Cornell-Maier
TACOMA, Wash. - Members of Pacific Lutheran University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and various athletic teams came together to honor the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a day of service to the Pierce County community.
11 PLU student-athletes joined one another in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma to assist with the Hilltop Urban Garden. The student-athletes partnered with the PLU Center for Community Engagement & Service (CCES) to help with garden preparation and clean up.
“The Hilltop Urban Garden is a local example of food sovereignty and supports the belief that everyone deserves access to fresh, affordable food,” said junior softball player Elli Rassbach. “By volunteering here, we wanted to support a community built, community serving, organization. Specifically on the MLK Day of Service, we were able to complete projects in hours that would have taken individuals days.”
The Lute tradition of service, care, and leadership, is carried out through the work done by the PLU CCES. The involvement of student-athletes echoes these values, and provides an opportunity for the Lutes to form their own community within their team and others.
“Joining with my fellow Lutes was a great way to spend our day,” said softball senior Emily McConnell. “I always love bringing our fellowship of PLU out into the community where we can really work together to make a difference.”
This SAAC initiative continued their tradition of community outreach and service. PLU SAAC was recognized in 2016 as the CCES Student Service Organization of the Year for their efforts to involve athletes as a way to empower and serve the community.