MU Athletics and the Heart of Missouri United Way (HMUW) have partnered to create Tigers Care, a program in which university student-athletes volunteer for agencies that help the local community. Officials made the announcement Monday at a gathering in the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex that included representatives of some of the agencies.
A number of the participating agencies, such as the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, are funded in part by the local United Way, which is in the midst of a $4 million fundraising campaign. Donations can be made to the MU/UM United Way Campaign at unitedway.missouri.edu. As of Wednesday, the MU/UM campaign is halfway to its fundraising goal of $800,000 by Nov. 30.
Through Tigers Care, student-athletes can volunteer in the community as individuals, in groups or as teams. United Way will provide a calendar of agency projects that the students can choose from, said Alexis Mitchell, Heart of Missouri's corporate engagement associate.
“With Tigers Care, we are offering Mizzou student-athletes the opportunity for personal growth and a stronger sense of community support,” Mitchell said. “The great thing about the program is that they will have everything at their fingertips.”
MU Athletic Director Mike Alden is excited about the partnership. “We already have a very high level of expectation that our student-athletes are actively involved in our community, but this new program will only enhance this very important aspect of their experience here at Mizzou,” Alden said.
“We’re looking forward to great things and the win-win situation we’ll see as our young men and women further their involvement with the community.”
Heart of Missouri United Way will coordinate weekly and monthly projects with participating agencies and provide volunteer opportunities to Kim Lambert, associate athletics director for student-athlete development, and Aaron Paterson, a graduate assistant in student-athlete development, Mitchell said. Lambert and Paterson, part of the athletic department’s Total Person program, will coordinate directly with the student-athlete volunteers.
Tigers Care aligns with the department’s mission of developing student-athletes who are well-rounded.
At Monday’s event, student-athletes met several agency representatives and learned about the types of projects being offered.
For more information on Tigers Care, contact HMUW by emailing Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 443-4523.