UIC Student-Athletes Provide Single Mom and Son with Christmas Gifts

Sophomore volleyball player MaryKate Imrie holding two-year Christian.

Sophomore volleyball player MaryKate Imrie holding two-year Christian.

Dec. 16, 2011

CHICAGO, Ill. - With the winter college sports season in full swing, the UIC Flames recently displayed that their hearts burn for more than just athletic competition. 

This past Thursday, several of the Flames' student-athletes and administrators surprised an area single-mom and her two-year old son with several bags of Christmas presents.   Some of the gifts included necessities such as coats, hats and gloves, but books and toys were also donated for the toddler.

The initiative was spearheaded by UIC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their coordinated efforts with the Salvation Army.  The word quickly spread throughout the entire athletic department and within a matter of weeks, SAAC had raised over $600 for the mother and son duo.

"To see a little boy light up when he opens a toy car is a touching experience," said committee secretary Heidi Dahnke.  "I get goose bumps thinking and talking about it.  I think it was a great experience for our UIC Family and a day the mother will never forget."

If you or anyone you know would like to help a family in need this holiday season, please contact the Salvation Army at 1-800-728-7825.

About SAAC:  The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is a committee made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience and to offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives on NCAA member institution campuses. An Association-wide SAAC was adopted by legislation approved at the 1989 NCAA Convention, and was formed primarily to review and offer student-athlete input on NCAA activities and proposed legislation that affected student-athletes.