Helping hands

Sports teams help community through service


Anna Ivanov, staff writer

South sports teams participate in a variety of service events in order to help the community, Julie Smith, junior varsity (JV) and varsity poms Coach, said. She believes that it is important for sports teams to make a difference and connect with people from different backrounds and diverse experiences through service.  

Poms participates in a variety of service projects including Feed My Starving Children and running dance clinics for young girls, but one of their most personal projects is Paula Packs, Smith said. Paula Packs is a service project where the team makes small goodie bags with chapstick, ice packs, tissues, and other items for women going through breast cancer treatment, Smith said. The poms team was inspired to start this project after Paula Hess, a former South poms coach, died of breast cancer in 2016, Smith explained. 

“[After we deliver the packs], we get amazing notes back from people who receive them, saying that [the packs] really brightened their day and made things so much better,” Smith said. “That connection of seeing the effect of service directly makes the girls feel a sense of pride and connection.”

Poms is not the only team that participates in service, however. All levels of boys’ and girls’ cross country also work to give back to their local community through service, sophomore Connor Herrington, JV boys’ cross country runner, said. These athletes raise donations for the Northfield Township Food Pantry by having friends and family sponsor the athletes by giving a flat donation, or giving a certian amount for every mile each of the athletes run, Herrington explained. 

“By doing this fundraiser and charity, I’m able to tie my passion [for running] with helping the people in my community,” Herrington said. 

In order to help female athletes in the local community, the girls’ basketball team hosts a program each summer where South basketball players coach younger girls, sophomore Mackenzie Lathrop, JV basketball player, said. This summer camp gives the JV and varsity girls’ basketball teams the opportunity to help younger girls in the community improve and expand upon their basketball skills, Lathrop explained. 

“The basketball team has done a lot to influence the younger generation of basketball players in Glenview because of the summer camp,” Lathrop said. 

Community service is also important for team bonding, freshman Carlin Endre, freshman volleyball team player, said. All levels of the girls’ volleyball go to Feed My Starving Children at the beginning of each season to pack food for children experiencing food insecurity, which helps the team bond through a shared knowledge that they are helping the global community, Endre explained.  

“[Service is] good for the team too,” Endre said. “[It helps us] really get to know each other, and that helps us on the court.”