The giving spirit of the Liberty Flames' student-athletes was once again well represented in the recently completed "Dollar Makes a Difference Campaign."
The drive began five years ago when Kristie Beitz, Liberty's Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Affairs, was shopping in the local Target for school supplies to hand out to the Lynchburg city schools. A former football player bumped into Beitz and asked why she had all the school supplies. Beitz informed the player of her intentions and the athlete graciously handed over $20 to buy more items. Beitz accepted and told the football player to go back to his team and challenge the team to give $1 each, thus starting the "Dollar Makes a Difference Campaign."
Liberty Athletics Student-Athlete Development Assistant Jordan Richardson and the rest of the Academic Affairs for Athletics Staff helped coordinate the drive this fall. This year, the results were record breaking, collecting a total of $9,655.57, which is nearly $1,500 more than they raised last year.
Each year the campaign has grown, from the first year of raising $2,700 to collecting nearly $10,000 this year. The student-athletes have in fact made a competition out of the campaign. Each team takes on the challenge of who can raise the most money by the end of the campaign. The winning team receives the Golden Ruler, a very measurable award to obtain.
This year's winner was the men's soccer squad. Men's soccer raised over $4,000, doubling last year's winning total of $2,000 posted by the cheerleading squad. The men's soccer team hosted a car wash on Sept. 5 outside the Golden Corral and Chick-fil-A parking lots to raise money.
Money continued to pile in as the cheerleading squad sat outside the library as well as DeMoss Hall, having its own "tucks for bucks" campaign in which the team flipped every time someone donated money. The track & field squad composed a rap song about giving money for Dollar Makes a Difference and the swimming & diving team posted online videos about their team's efforts and passion to give back to the community on their social media accounts.
Student-athletes could be seen around campus at convocation and various athletic events as well as university events, trying to collect money to help provide the local schools with much needed supplies. Student-athletes also volunteer in the Lynchburg City School System; so that they can get to know the children and staff better to build relationships and touch lives.
All the money raised was used to purchase various school supplies such as folders, backpacks, pens, crayons, markers, glue sticks, notebooks and other needed supplies. The supplies will be distributed to several area schools.
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