Aug. 19, 2011
Stanford, Calif. - This past Wednesday, the Stanford Women's Volleyball team took part in the first project of Stanford Athletics' new Cardinal for the Community program. The team partnered with the Opportunity Center in Palo Alto, CA to help with the organization's first ever Back to School Boutique, which provides clothing to school-aged children in the area, as well as the monthly food pantry. This project is one of many that the Center has recently undertaken to better serve the youth affected by homelessness, especially as children return to school this month.
The Women's Volleyball team spent the afternoon and evening sorting and packing clothing, helping families search for sizes and clothing for their children, assembling school supply packs and backpacks, and even jumping in to help bag produce for the food pantry when their pallet jack broke and slowed the assembly line.
All of the nearly 40 families that attended the Back to School Boutique left with new clothing, shoes, blankets, and school supplies that their children could use to make their return to school a fun and exciting one.
"Since we've been visiting the Opportunity Center, we have been continuously amazed at how caring they are for the community," one mother said as she picked out clothes for her 12-year old son. "To see the Center do all this for the children is really unbelievable. I can't describe what this means to u. Having these things makes such a difference."
The Opportunity Center collects gently used clothing and shoes, which are then redistributed to the community through community clothing closets, but this was the first time a special event was held specifically for youth heading back to school.
The team is already planning ways to help in the future. "This was such a great event that really gave us the opportunity to interact with the community in new ways," said Junior Kariss Cook. "There are definitely more ways that we can contribute, like helping to collect used clothing to donate and support the Opportunity Center's efforts."
About Opportunity Center: The Opportunity Center provides services and resources for the more than 200 homeless individuals and families in the Mid-peninsula area, of which more than 50 are women with children. For more information, or to get involved with the Opportunity Center, visit www.http://www.communityworkinggroup.org/opportunitycenter.html
About Cardinal for the Community: Cardinal for the Community connects Stanford student-athletes with community groups to build sustainable partnerships and support the surrounding community. C4C is supported by Stanford Athletics and the Haas Center for Public Service. For more information on Cardinal for the Community, visit REPLACE_ME