“That’s how it’s done!” exclaims Owens Express volleyball player McKinsey Finnen as she scooped up an arm-full of pen packages while volunteering at the United Way of Greater Toledo’s Kickoff to Caring event on Wednesday.
The annual event provides the community with backpacks and supplies to students who are homeless, impoverished or in foster care . United Way has provided 20,000 backpacks over the past four years, according to Wendy Pestrue, president of United Way of Greater Toledo.
“We loved being at Owens Community College! It was a beautiful facility, and it was easy to organize everything here.” She goes on to explain that if a family needs a backpack, they can reach the organization by calling 211.
The college’s Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) was filled with hundreds of community members who continuously walked along tables topped with supplies, similar to an assembly line. The rumble of the volunteers talking and laughing was loud and expressive.
Also on hand were the Owens Express women’s volleyball team. Head coach Sonny Lewis said the team wanted to help, and there job was to monitor the supplies on the tables.
“It’s good to see success from a team on and off the court while helping a community,” said player Kayla Bekier.