EUGENE, Ore. - The O Heroes program raised over four thousand dollars and distributed 70 dinners to local families as part of the group's annual Thanksgiving Basket drive.
With the $4057.13 raised, 70 Thanksgiving Baskets were made and distributed by student-athletes.
O Heroes, in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul, identified families in Lane County and student-athletes personally delivered each basket and took time to meet and greet the families and children.
There was $557.13 left over after the 70 baskets were created and the student-athlete board of O Heroes decided that money will go toward winter holiday break food donations. With local schools out of session for holiday break, the remaining Thanksgiving Basket drive money will go to cover food for children who will be missing out on a school-provided lunch.
"Our student-athletes really wanted to amplify their giving this year and set the goal of delivering 70 baskets to families in need around Lane County," said Judy Sheldon, director of O Heroes. "Not only did they hit that goal, but they surpassed it to continue giving into the Christmas season. Their competitive spirits and team focus goes beyond their sports and spills into the community — its an amazing thing to witness."
Every team in the department voluntarily participated, raising money and collecting food donations from athletics department staff, coaches and fellow student-athletes.
The 70 dinners were made up of an eight to 10 pound turkey, turkey pan, box of stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, potatoes, yams, green beens or corn, milk, apple cider, rolls, marshmallows, pumpkin pie and whipped cream.
The Thanksgiving Basket program has grown rapidly since its inception. In 2010, just two years ago, O Heroes distributed 47 baskets and had no money remaining. Last year, 61 baskets were donated.
2012-13 O HEROES FACTS: O Heroes raised and donated $23,818 last year to projects local, national and abroad...O Heroes members volunteered 1,273 hours with the Boys & Girls Club of Emerald Valley...500 pairs of shoes were given to Samaritan's Feet...235 sports bras were donated to the women fo West Ambrym...In Eugene, 3,455 of the 7,319 children (K-5) in the 4J school district participated in an O Heroes event...Over 30 dogs were re-socialized with the Greenhill Humane Society...15,000+ cans were recycled as O Heroes staffed the Autzen Green team.