Ducks and Bucks focus on service before championship game

Clark Honors College Dean Terry Hunt
Clark Honors College Dean Terry Hunt

With an unusual chill in the air, dozens of students, faculty and staff gathered outside a resale store in Keller, Texas, to hear a phrase one might not expect the morning of the national championship game:

“Let’s go to work.”

Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes put out the call following a performance by the marching band and cheer squad, kicking off a morning of sorting food and clothing items for the nonprofit organization.

The joint project between the University of Oregon and its Ducks and Ohio State University and its Buckeyes benefitted Commnity Storehouse, an organization dedicated to providing support for underprivileged children so they are able to be academically successful. More than 4,000 kids are served.

“We get them what they need so when they’re in the classroom they can focus and be successful,” said Jill LeBaron, Community Storehouse development assistant.

While largely donor supported, the organization generates one-third of its resources from its resale shops. Dollars are used to provide everything from counseling services to hygiene products to kids who are at risk for dropping out of school.

Ducks and Bucks worked side by side sorting goods for the resale stores and the food bank, wearing dual-logo T-shirts celebrating the collaboration. That effort provided tangible results.

According to Community Storehouse officials, 100 volunteers contributing two hours of time each saves the organization $4,400 in labor costs. That $4,400 savings will pay for school books for more than 2,500 children or provide thousands of snack packs, ensuring that children have food on weekends.

But beyond the hours of labor provided during the service project, the organization sees assistance from two universities as offering even more.

“By being here, you show these kids that they too can go to college,” said Barbara Board, executive director of Community Storehouse. “They too can succeed.”

For more information on Community Storehouse, visit communitystorehouse.org.

— By Tobin J. Klinger, Public Affairs Communications