LSU Athletics Introduces 'Geaux Givers'

by Matt Dunaway
LSU Athletics Introduces 'Geaux Givers'

BATON ROUGE – The LSU athletic department launched its new community service initiative, the Geaux Givers, on Tuesday as announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva.

The Geaux Givers will brand all of LSU athletics’ community service efforts from the Shaquille O’Neal CHAMPS/Life Skills unit. Officers from LSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee [SAAC] were also on-hand at the press conference.

During the 2009-10 academic year, LSU athletics completed an impressive 2,648.5 hours of community service, increasing its total by more than 250 hours from 2008-09. The 2,648.5 hours are the equivalent of 110 days of community service. Each year, the team with the most community service hours is awarded the traveling team trophy.

Starting on Friday, LSU will partner up with the other 11 league institutions for the fourth annual SEC Together We CAN Food Drive. This 10-day outreach program which runs through September 26 encourages fans to donate food and financial donations in support of local food banks and shelters across the southeast. 

Fans can bring canned goods to benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to all LSU athletic events this weekend, including the football home opener Saturday against Mississippi State. There also are chances to donate items at the Friday and Sunday volleyball matches inside the Maravich Center in addition to Sunday’s soccer match.

For those fans wanting to donate but not able to make it to one of the above athletic events, barrels will be at the front entrance of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes during the entire 10-day period.

Geaux Givers Press Conference
September 14, 2010


Opening statement…
“Thank you all for coming. Today, we are announcing an initiative, but it’s really not a new initiative. We are going to start a program called the ‘Geaux Givers.’ What it really is, is our community outreach program involving our student-athletes. Last year our student-athletes did close to 2,700 hours of community service, and to be a student-athlete at LSU or frankly, at any institution is a privilege. With that privilege comes some responsibility. In my mind responsibility is for academic performance, responsibility for athletic achievement and for being a good citizen. Being a good citizen means reaching out and helping people in the community that may not be as fortunate as you are. People ask what’s the purpose for that. Well, to me, the purpose of going to college and part of being a student-athlete is learning life lessons. When our student-athletes reach out to the community and help people, they are developing the wisdom of giving back. I’ve found in the times that I’ve done community service that I benefit more than I think the people benefit from it that we’re reaching out to. I think our student-athletes are testaments to that, where they go out and reach out to people and help them, but I think the experience that they gain probably outweighs the service that they’ve performed.

“I’m really pleased to announce this new initiative of ‘Geaux Givers,’ and I think it will be a great program as we go forward. We have terrific student-athletes here that really engage in projects in the community. It’s a benefit to them, and I think it’ll be a benefit to Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana.”

On some of the things student-athletes will be doing as ‘Geaux Givers’ …
“They’ll go to schools, read with students, go to elderly people and help in that area, help clean up litter and trash from communities, plant trees and bushes and things like that, and I’m probably just touching the tip of the iceberg, but there are all sorts of things that they are going to go out there and help. I really like it when they go out and reach out to young kids because I think our student-athletes are the best role models possible, so when they are out there with an eight-year-old or a seven-year-old, they hopefully espouse to be like our student-athletes and get a college education and contribute back to the community.”