Heath Nickles, Big Ten champion in the decathlon, helps clean the floors at Habitat for Humanity.
Oct. 21, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Members of the Ohio State men's track and field team recently took time out of their busy schedules to lend a helping hand in the community.
Twenty-eight (28) sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and middle distance runners collected canned goods in the Westerville area for nearly six hours last Saturday that was donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Grove City. It was time well spent as team members collected close to 1,000 pounds of food, which is enough to feed 1,000 hungry families.
"I am very proud of our efforts to help others by collecting canned goods," head coach Robert Gary said. "We were told it will go a long way in helping needy families. We feel it is very important for our guys to give back to the community whenever possible."
Associate head coach Ed Beathea echoed Gary's thoughts.
"The guys really enjoyed going door to door and collecting canned goods," he said. "It was a good feeling to hear them talk about how people opened up to them once they realized they were from The Ohio State University. It was an experience they are not soon to forget."
The team also had 15 throwers volunteer for around six hours at the Habitat For Humanity Store. Throwers used their strength to help customers load products and goods bought at the store and unload trucks and cars from people donating. They also helped clean the store, restock shelves and unload delivery trucks while some even served as greeters for customers at the front door.
"The guys willingly did whatever was asked of them and were grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community," throws coach Kevin Mannon said. "Customers were thrilled at the opportunity to talk with our guys as they assisted them."
In addition to their work last weekend, the Buckeyes also have taken part in mentoring kids at Fifth Avenue Elementary in Columbus, are involved in Second and Seven and are reaching out to Columbus City Preparatory School for Boys.