Wingate, N.C.—-Multiple Wingate University athletic teams participated in the 25th Union County United Way Day of Caring on Saturday, August 26. After a kick-off celebration at the University’s Irwin Belk Stadium, the teams dispersed into the community to do volunteer work. Wingate University men’s lacrosse graduate student goalie Jacob Ormerod (’17, Lake Mary, Fla.) reflects on his UWDOC experience below…
It’s 7 a.m., August 26, 2017…and the sun is rising over Irwin Belk Stadium. A large group of people has gathered to participate in the annual United Way Day of Caring. This is a day when people can volunteer to give back to their community. Wingate University always has people who not only participate, but actively want to volunteer as well. Many of Wingate’s athletic teams are among the mass of people gathered at Irwin Belk Stadium…they make up over 350 of the volunteers present. The Wingate men’s lacrosse team is one such team which has chosen to give back to the community on this morning.
As a part of the men’s lacrosse team at Wingate, I can tell you community service is a big part of what our coaching staff believes. Coach Boyle loves community service and his encouragement and belief in giving back is infectious to everyone. It is important for our program to give back to our community because we want to become the role models we envision ourselves as. Being able to give yourself to a cause, and not expect something back as payment, is a symbol of becoming a man (from my team’s perspective) and a responsible member of society. The realization that you are doing something for someone who can do nothing for you is profound…and I enjoy it immensely, as does the rest of our Bulldog men’s lacrosse program.
With the number of guys on the team we have, our players were able to split up and go to several different work sites all over Union County. One group went to help in a garden at the Agriculture Center, while one group went to help an elderly lady in the community by assisting her with her outside chores. Yet another group went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore to assist in cleaning and helping the staff. Lastly, the group I was in went to help the Red Cross spread information about fire safety and awareness tips.
The woman who was the coordinator at the Red Cross met us at the center in Monroe and gave our group, as well as a big group from a local high school, a speech about how important it is for communities to stay vigilant and prepared. She talked about how the Red Cross encourages preparedness because if a community is prepared for a disaster, mitigating the damage is this much easier. She talked about different Red Cross missions and how many groups had already galvanized and left for Texas to help with the hurricane disaster that has struck the people there.
She split our group and the group from the high school to go to three different local neighborhoods to hand out pamphlets and go door-to-door passing out information about fire safety as well as tips to make sure all households are ready for fire prevention. It seems that adults are more like college students than many of us would like to think, because it was hard to find many people awake at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning; however, this didn’t stop my group from going to every house in our neighborhood and making sure that every door had a pamphlet about fire safety information and tips for fire prevention. It wasn’t the most laborious task to do, but I feel like it’s just as important to make sure that the people of Union County are well informed and prepared, because Union County and Wingate have been my home for a long time.
The United Way Day of Caring, and all community service really, definitely has been something that has enhanced my Wingate experience because of the feeling I get from helping others out. This feeling is something that will stay with me for a long time, long after I graduate from Wingate University (again).