Dec. 8, 2004
WACO, Texas -
Baylor student-athletes participated in "Adopt an Angel" at the Compassion Ministries home in Waco Wednesday, bringing holiday cheer and Christmas gifts to less fortunate families.
Over 30 athletes from football, track, women's tennis, softball, men's and women's golf, volleyball, athletic trainers and soccer helped to make the holidays a little brighter for the families residing at Compassion Ministries. Each sport collected money, shopped and wrapped presents for its individual family. The children visited with Santa, who happened to resemble Joseph DeWoody, a senior member of the Baylor football team.
Each university in the Big 12 participates in Adopt an Angel as part of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program, which stresses academics, athletics, personal development, career development and service to student-athletes. The Student Athletic Advisory Committee, or SAAC, is a group of student-athletes who act as a liaison between CHAMPS and other athletes. SAAC organizes events like Adopt an Angel so that all Baylor student-athletes have a chance to serve the community.
This is the third year that SAAC has chosen Compassion Ministries as the receiver of the Adopt an Angel program.
Compassion Ministries is a transitional home for struggling families who might be homeless without the six-month program that is designed to help them get back on their feet. The head of the family is required to have a full-time job within 30 days of entering the program. Based on a low nominal scale and their income, they must pay rent and utilities to Compassion. Upon graduation from the program, the family receives half of that money back to pay for rent and utility deposits on their new home.
Jill McCall, executive director of Compassion Ministries, explained that these kids have had a lot of turmoil in their lives.
"This is one little bit of normalcy they can have like all other kids. We are overwhelmed by the generosity the Baylor athletes have shown in the past three years."
Soccer player Jessica Vick said that she enjoys giving these children the only Christmas they may get.
Sherry Summers, a member of the women's golf team said, "I enjoy giving back to the Waco community. It is fun to see the children get so excited about the presents and Santa."
The event was a success and the children went home happy with many presents from the Baylor student-athletes.