PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown women's lacrosse team spent the offseason volunteering its time to various local and global organizations in an effort to give back to the community.
During the fall, the team captains volunteered at the Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership clinic to help forty local middle and high school girls refine their techniques and show them new skills.
"At the end of the fall semester, the captains traveled to New York City with the coaches for an alumni event. While there, we had the opportunity to give back in a way that would show exactly what the alumni and captains were celebrating: lacrosse and teamwork," said Grace Healy '14.
"The girls were passionate to learn new things, and willing to go hard in every drill we set up. While it was rewarding to see them gain a new skill, it was more rewarding to see them having fun playing the game that we have grown to love and appreciate. When we went to say goodbye one girl remarked that we better not forget them, not that we ever could. In fact, we are expecting them in the crowd when we play Columbia this upcoming March."
During the winter break, Carolyn Westphal '16, Dianne Vitkus '16, and Arianna Lanpher '16 all participated in a weeklong service trip with Global Brigades, the world's largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization.
"At the beginning of January, I volunteered in Honduras for a week through Global Brigades and was a member of the Public Health brigade. Honduras is cited as the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and basic health care needs and clean water sources are considered luxuries," said Westphal.
"My group's work included building an outdoor latrine, shower, and water storage unit as well as cement floors and an eco-stove, which allows smoke to go through the roof instead of lingering in the room. Through the construction of facilities essential for basic health, we were able to create a long-lasting solution for many of the common medical issues and injuries. We were most proud of building a sustainable living space for the family, because we know these structures will last a lifetime."
The entire team also joined all Brown student-athletes at Fox Point, a program designed to give back to the Providence community and serve as role models for students at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School.
"Each varsity team is paired with one classroom for the entire year," said Bre Hudgins '14. "This year we were grateful to be with Mrs. Giramma's first grade class. We had groups of people that would go for an hour each week and helped the students while they completed worksheets, math problems, and rotated through stations. It was so awesome getting to see the kids grow over the weeks and have them get more and more excited every time we walked into the classroom."
The team also tackled the topic of homelessness in Rhode Island by joining forces with the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless for its annual service project.
"This year, after presenting different ideas, we voted and chose the topic of homelessness. We organized three separate efforts to help combat this issue in Rhode Island by gaining perspective and information about homelessness in Providence. We accomplished this by pairing with a grassroots organization called Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless and participating in a downtown tour of Providence," said Sarah Nesi '16.
"During this tour we learned about the conditions that homeless individuals in Rhode Island face in their day-to-day lives, the places where they can gain access to various resources, and the ways in which politics in Rhode Island largely affect individual lives."
The team found success fundraising and taking up collections throughout the month of November.
"Throughout the month of November, we created an intra-squad competition to collect toiletries and warm clothing that we then donated to a student run organization at Brown called HOPE. Additionally, we designed and sold T-shirts and food at our clinics and tournaments throughout the fall and raised $1,700 to put toward the third part of our service project, which was cooking and delivering a meal to Harrington Hall. Harrington Hall is a homeless shelter in Cranston that provides a place to sleep, meals, and various resources for between 90-120 men a night."
The Brown women's lacrosse team opens up its 2014 regular season with a home contest versus Iona on February 22.