Basketball Hokies give back to NRV community

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Photo courtesy of VT Athletics
Hokie Bird gives a special hug to a child during this past week’s “Giving Back” event hosted by the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team.

This past Thursday was a special evening inside Virginia Tech’s Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center as the men’s basketball players, the team staff and their families hosted the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley for a holiday gathering.

Filled with laughs and tears of joy, the evening was about giving back to the community. The men’s basketball program shared the true spirit of the holiday season with more than 15 families, families who have suffered some setbacks and been through some difficulties.

From assistant coach Christian Webster’s serving as the evening’s emcee to kids’ lighting up with smiles once they heard they would receive two presents each, the “giving back” event was special and exciting for everyone involved.

Head coach Mike Young said of the event, “The opportunity for our staff and players to give back to the community is very rewarding. To see the children and the parents smiling and having fun is heartwarming for everyone. We are fortunate to have a platform where we can share with others, especially during the holidays.”

The Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley is a non-profit, human service organization with the mission of implementing individual and social change for a violence-free community. The organization provides programs and services to adult and child victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Cornerstone Children’s Program Coordinator Jake Woodfin, who collaborated with chief of staff Stephanie Ballein to coordinate the holiday event, described the night as one he, the families and the Hokies would not soon forget.

“It was really cool that the team not only wanted to buy the presents, but also took the time out of their day to just be there and spend time with the moms and kids,” Woodfin said. “It was awesome to see our families feel safe comfortable and just have fun.”