For the third year in a row, hundreds of athletes and coaches gathered to give back to the Mansfield ISD community as part of the Athletic Department's Annual Day of Service.
"It's an important day to bring all five of our comprehensive high schools together and help out," Assistant Athletic Director Dawn Mailloux-Smith said to a crowd of more than 400 students and staff at Vernon Newsom Stadium on July 26. "Even though Mansfield ISD has grown, we are still one athletic department, and we want you to feel as one when serving your community."
Jessica Serjeant, head girls soccer coach for Mansfield High, led the organization for this year's event. She said it is important for athletes to help the community that provides support throughout the year.
"We want to pour into those that pour into us during the season," she said.
The event also gives students an opportunity to build character, which aligns with Vision 2030, Mansfield ISD’s strategic plan to help students become life ready.
"Giving back is a good quality life lesson," Serjeant said. "As a district we believe in teaching athletes lifelong lessons."
This year, athletes volunteered at several district campuses including Erma Nash Elementary, Donna Sheppard Intermediate, Anna May Daulton Elementary, Della Icenhower Intermediate, Lake Ridge High School and Charlotte Anderson Academy. They also volunteered at Mission Arlington, Harvesting in Mansfield Food Bank, the YMCA and the Mansfield Mission Center Thrift Store.
Students picked up trash, moved furniture, organized donated clothing and food, weeded community gardens and more.
Colbey Beal, Mansfield High School junior and volleyball athlete, said she looks forward to the day of service because she can reunite with friends. It's also a chance to help others.
"I want to help out the community," Colbey said.
Sean Wilson, Lake Ridge High School sophomore and baseball player, echoed Colbey's sentiment.
"I felt like helping out," he said. "I didn't want to just sit at home and do nothing."
Timberview High junior and softball pitcher Victoria Perez is volunteering at the event for the first time.
"I thought it would be a good way to represent my team and school," she said.
Students enjoyed breakfast provided by Aid for Educators. In the spring, athletes donated hundreds of shoes to Aid for Educators so the organization could distribute them to families in need.
“It's been amazing having them out here,” said Charlotte Anderson Preparatory Academy teacher Ann Bond. “They did the heavy lifting – cleaning our playground and cleaning out our community garden.”
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