Monday, September 4, 2017

Donations of much-needed items accepted in KCKCC Field House through Friday


KANSAS CITY, KAN. - Athletes and coaches at Kansas City Kansas Community College have joined in the initiative to aid in the Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts in Houston.

Everything from water and personal hygiene items to diapers and cleaning products are being collected for shipment to Houston.

The collection of donated items will continue through Friday. Anyone wishing to contribute may do so by bringing goods to the Softball Office in the KCKCC Field House at the north end of the campus at 7250 State Avenue. The office will not be open Labor Day but will be accepting items during the day Tuesday through Friday.

In addition to the Lady Blue Devil softball team, the women’s and men’s basketball teams and women’s soccer team have joined in the undertaking along with the Building and Grounds Department which will handle the packing and shipping of the donated goods.

“They are in great need of diapers of all sizes, including adults; baby food and formula and new unused undergarments,” said KCKCC assistant softball coach Tiffany Jennings. “We’re also collecting such items as bottled water, blankets, cleaning products including Lysol wipes, pet food, non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products and more.

“We’ve been asked to hold off on sending clothing items for now but clothing and shoes will also be needed, especially larger adult sized clothing.”

“I am beyond proud of our coaches and student-athletes in taking the initiative to aid in the Hurricane Relief efforts,” said KCKCC Athletic Director Tony Tompkins. “Our student-athletes have given up of their own shoes and gear, paid for food or other emergency items with their own money or have donated their personal belongings to help those in need.”

“I wished we could do more,” said KCKCC women’s soccer coach Shawn Uhlenhake. “It’s a difficult situation for those folks and I look forward to continuing to help in any way we can. I spent four years in Texas and really grew to appreciate all the people down there. But I know they are resilient and will bounce back. Hopefully we made someone’s day a little easier with our small donations.”

The relief effort is being coordinated through Ken Bryant and his son, Allen Bryant, who transported the first shipment of donated items to a temporary shelter at Buna High School in Orange, Tex., for distribution to those in need.

“We were happy to help Ken and Allen fill their truck and boat with the items that are desperately needed in Texas,” said Jennings, who said tentative plans are for taking a second shipment on Friday. “If not, we’ll find an alternate way to get the items to the proper location."

The relief effort of men’s basketball coach Kelley Newton and women’s basketball coach Joe McKinstry is being coordinated through Kelvin Sampson, Newton’s former college coach at the University of Oklahoma and current head basketball at the University of Houston.