Feb. 27, 2013
Each week, AuburnTigers.com will take a look at a different personality from Auburn Athletics. This blog will take a look at the various perspectives of student-athletes, coaches and administrators. This week's entry is written by Auburn senior women's basketball student-athlete Blanche Alverson. Enjoy her insights and join us again for another edition next week.
When I began at Auburn, I wanted to find ways to impact the lives of people in the Auburn community.
Community service is instilled in all of the incoming student-athletes from the beginning of their athletic careers, and I have been blessed to be part of so many different projects here at Auburn. My initial community service exposure came as my team visited different schools and organizations where we talked to many classes of varying grade levels as positive role models, encouraging children to set goals for themselves. I realized, from this work, that because of my position and my experiences, I could make more of an impact on these children's lives than just the service I participated in with my team.
I decided to create a community service project called Ballin' for Books. With the support of the athletic department, my coaches, and my teammates, I was able to organize a book drive to take place before two of our home games in 2012. We donated the books to local organizations that did not have the funds or resources to provide books for the kids in their communities. By using Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, other social media, and getting in direct touch with several elementary schools in the area, we were able to increase awareness to my project. As Ballin' for Books grew, I was able to expand the project into an inner city Atlanta elementary school and affect areas outside of Auburn.
This year, I was a part of the Miss Homecoming tradition at Auburn. I was very blessed to be surrounded by such a great support system from my team, my sorority sisters, and the entire Auburn community. Through the Miss Homecoming campaign, I was able to bring even more awareness to my Ballin' for Books project. For one week, I got the opportunity to talk to many organizations on campus about Ballin' for Books and just share to the campus something that I was so passionate about. I was so humbled and honored to be named Auburn University's Miss Homecoming 2012 and excited that so many people were supporting Ballin' for Books!
I am so thrilled to say that Ballin' for Books is back for another year! I am looking forward to seeing my project expand even further, because this year we are donating the books we receive to the Pine Hills Literacy Project, as well as, the Hudson Family Foundation. The Athletics Department has been so pivotal in my growth in community service and has truly instilled the love to give back to our community who constantly supports and cheers for us on a daily basis.