A group of St. Thomas University athletes have created a volunteer organization to help out in the community.
The STU Outreach Program is a team of STU students who want to make a difference in the Fredericton area.
Fourth-year volleyball player Ryan Dickson is the founder and president. He decided to start the group because of the work he did during the summer with the downtown Fredericton Health Centre.
“This gave me the idea to kind of leverage student’s need for volunteer hours, to do some good in the Fredericton community,” Dickson said.
“I’m trying to allow students to get out into the larger Fredericton community and volunteer with various different initiatives.”
Dickson worked to help the homeless by bringing water bottles to rooming houses. He said it can be a struggle to find people to help out with programs like that.
“I’ve seen that a lot of organizations in Fredericton have a lot of good initiatives for those populations, but there’s not enough people to help with what they are doing.”
Dickson figured he could round up students to help the city with similar programs and other local volunteering opportunities. He said the group isn’t just for athletes — it’s open to all students too.
Vice-president Ali Swift, secretary Taylor Cook and fundraising chair Kristina Kocsis are all on the women’s hockey team, while awareness chair Anisha Romany is a former track and field athlete.
Romany is excited to see what the program can achieve this year.
“I am happy to support my peers in this venture and I look forward to working with them in our outreach efforts. It is quite exciting being part of this team and I have high hopes for this year.”
Kocsis is also looking forward to helping fellow students and the community.
“I’m really looking forward to helping the STU community get involved with as many different charities and volunteer opportunities as possible,” said Kocsis.
“If anyone has particular interest for volunteering somewhere it’ll be great to be able to help make that happen. It should be a great year.”
As for what is planned, the group has discussed various ideas and are open for suggestions.
“We’re still having an open call for initiative,” said Dickson. “Anything volunteer-based that’s in Fredericton, we’re open to do it.”