Breakfast with Santa
Each December, a group of UK student-athletes attend this annual UK Children’s Hospital event. Volunteers spend their time visiting (and eating breakfast) with children and their families and help Santa Clause distribute presents. Afterwards, volunteers spend time visiting with patients at the hospital whose physical condition makes it impossible for them to attend the breakfast.
During the holiday season, student-athletes volunteer their time ringing bells for the “Red Kettle Campaign” to help raise money for the Lexington Salvation Army. UK Athletics has won the Fayette County trophy for “most time given” 7 of the last 9 years.
Student-athletes visit a number of local schools speaking to children on a variety of topics, including the importance of an education, good decision-making skills and setting goals. Student-athletes also spend countless hours volunteering for after school mentor/reading programs, including the annual Fayette County Read Across America celebration.
UK Athletics/God’s Pantry Backpack Program
In 2010, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart created an athletics department-wide community service partnership with God’s Pantry, a Lexington food bank. Once a week, UK student-athletes, coaches and staff volunteer their time to package food-filled “back packs” and hand deliver them to local elementary schools. The meals are donated to children who come from underprivileged families in the Lexington community.