EDMONTON, AB – The Concordia University of Edmonton Department of Athletics & Recreation highlights Day 10 of the Thunder’s 11 Days of Giving campaign, as the student-athletes and teams have come together during this holiday season to give back to our community.
With the winter cold starting to set in, the Thunder Badminton team wanted to make an immediate impact in the community. Through friends and family, the team collected over 100 pairs of mittens for YESS (Youth Empowerment & Support Services) to help provide warm clothes for youth in need this winter season.
John MacRae, YESS Community Engagement Officer, spoke about the impact donations such as this have to the community, stating “YESS supports traumatized and homeless youth, 15 to 24 years, in and around Edmonton. We provide an emergency shelter and wraparound programming and supports for these youth, including medical, physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual programming, and personal needs. We also have full kitchens to feed the youth and two supportive housing programs for long term support. If a youth needs clothing or personal sundries, we have supply rooms that contain donations of these items that come from the community and we supply these directly to the youth. Concordia’s support through collecting winter needs for donation to YESS, will be supplied directly to the youth to help keep them warm during the winter months. On behalf of the youth and YESS, we thank you for your support.”.
The impact of collecting donations such as this is not lost on the student-athletes. 4th year badminton and golf athlete Nic Pittman said “The Concordia Thunder Badminton team chose to support YESS because we feel privileged to be pursuing our dreams in varsity athletics and we hope our small donation can empower youth to pursue theirs. In times like the current pandemic, things have felt bleak and disconnected and it is important for us to show our community that we will be here to support them. Also, it is the season of giving and it feels awesome for us to support the youth of our wonderful city.”. Teammate Kennedy Turcotte added “With the Christmas approaching we believe donating to the YESS will spread holiday love and warmth, as individuals deserve to be cared for during these special times. I believe being involved in our community creates positive relationships that will help us to strive to be better student athletes.”.
First year head coach Rachael Smillie was delighted with how her team came together to support YESS, and saying “With it being a tough year for so many we felt it would be especially helpful to donate to an organization that helps some of our cities youngest and most at need, YESS. The team did a great job of collecting new mittens and gloves for YESS, and we hope it will help keep many of them warm during Edmonton's winter. It has been a good reminder for our team as to how lucky we truly are.”.
Additional information for YESS can be found at https://yess.org/.
More about the Thunder 11 Days of Giving Campaign:
With all of the struggles of the world in 2020, the student-athletes, coaches, and staff of the Thunder Department of Athletics & Recreation wanted to take this time of pause to get involved in our local community, and make it a better place right in time for the holidays. The 11 Days of Giving campaign challenged all of our student-athletes and teams to find a unique way to take advantage of this gift of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and find a way to help those who need it most around us.