Building community through fundraising and donations
October 18, 2022
Student-athletes give people plenty to cheer about every year, but their impact on the Kingston community goes beyond their competitions on the field. Many also volunteer for important fundraising activities that generate significant funding and donations for local and national causes.
In early October, the Gaels Football team held their annual Tackle Hunger initiative and collected more than 1,500 pounds of food at a game against York and at a local Metro supermarket. Working with Partners in Mission Foodbank, the team distributed the donations to local shelters across Kingston in the lead up to Thanksgiving.
“Every player on our team showed up at the Metro on Barrie Street and we helped convince people to donate a full truckload of food to our initiative,” says Ashton Miller-Melancon, a second-year student in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and a defensive back on the Gaels Football team. “Getting the opportunity to go out into the community to provide help and bring positivity to people in unfortunate and uncertain situations felt amazing, as I know that the results of the initiative can change someone's life for the better.”
Student-athletes will help send more food and hygiene products to Kingston families soon when the Varsity Leadership Council completes its annual drive for Martha’s Table, a local organization that works to reduce food insecurity. In 2021, the council collected more than 1,200 items for Martha’s Table, including 240 toothbrushes, 180 cans of tomatoes, 120 boxes of pasta, and 210 pounds of potatoes.
“Queen’s student-athletes show their dedication and discipline through the work they put into their academics and their sports every day, and they also use these qualities to help improve the lives of the community members around them,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “I know that our student-athletes take great pride in fundraising to support their community, which is why many of their initiatives have become annual traditions. Their contributions also embody the Queen’s spirit and show the positive impact so many of our students have on the local community.”
Fundraising for cancer research and care
Queen’s student athletes are also having an impact beyond Kingston by raising funds to help advance cancer research and care. The Women’s Soccer Team has already surpassed their fundraising goal for their Kick for the Cure program, raising more than $17,000 with two weeks still to go. Kick for the Cure featured a game dedicated to breast cancer awareness and fundraising on Oct. 7 and a fundraising drive that runs throughout October. The team is directing all donations to breast cancer research and care at the Canadian Cancer Society. For the game on Oct. 7, the team wore pink socks and gear to help raise awareness of the disease.
The Queen’s Men’s Rugby Team is also making contributions to breast cancer research and care. For more than ten years, they have taken part in Run for the Cure through the Canadian Cancer Society. This year, they have set themselves a $30,000 fundraising goal and have currently raised more than $23,000.
Student impact on the community
These fundraising initiatives make up part of Queen’s social and economic impact on the Kingston community, which has been measured in a study conducted by Deloitte. That study found that Queen’s students, faculty, and staff annually raise more than $1M to support local causes. It also found that Queen’s students work thousands of volunteer hours for local causes.
Learn more about the community and economic impact of Queen’s students and read the full study on the Queen’s Economic and Community Impact website.
Building Community Together
This is the first story in an ongoing series highlighting how students across Queen’s are building community together through meaningful volunteer and fundraising efforts.