Caroline Ponsi a junior and former lacrosse player at Lafayette College started up a project called Athletes 4 S.E.R.V.I.C.E. The Project which stands for “Serving Easton Residents & Valuing the Importance of Community Engagement” is a community service project developed specifically for Lafayette student athletes. It gives teams the opportunity to give back to the greater community on a larger scale. When asking questions to Ponsi she explained how the project has three major benefits. Number 1 it fits within the busy lives of student-athletes while having the chance to give back in a big way. Number 2 many times service projects must be coordinated by the coach and it’s difficult to get the entire team involved. Which is why we have Athlete C.A.R.E. representative to communicate with Ponsi to do the service project. Number 3 is the most important in that it’s helping the Easton community tremendously. This is because Safe Harbor Easton does not serve dinner to their Day Program members on Thursdays, so without our program they wouldn’t get a meal.
Ponsi’s goal for the project is to find a greater need in the community therefore making meals for Safe Harbor on Thursdays. This requires a team to make 50 to 60 meals which will be prepared and bagged so that the Day Program attendees with be able to leave with a meal for that Thursday night. Another goal for the program was to unite the athletic teams under a service project to serve a large community in need, while delegating each team one day per semester so that there was no issue of fitting this into the schedules of Lafayette Athletes.
Inside each of these to go bags include a sandwich, fruit, chips or snack bag, a dessert and a drink. Ponsi told me that already the Women’s Volleyball teamed helped out and made peanut butter jelly sandwiches. When Ponsi talked to the coordinator at Safe Harbor she said everything went great considering it was the first time we served. These meals are prepared every Thursday of the semester down in Easton at Safe Harbor. When I asked Ponsi what are the reactions of the people that receive these meals. She said although she doesn’t get to deliver the meals directly to the Day program people. She interacts with the Safe Harbor Kitchen staff, which many are residents of Safe Harbor as well.
The reason Ponsi decided to create this program was as a former member of the Women’s Lacrosse Team she really wanted to stay involved with the athletic community. She decided to combine her passion of athletics and service to create a project to achieve those three major community needs discussed above. Although it took a lot of work to get to where the project is today, such as getting approval and support from the Athletic directors, the board of trustees, the director of community partnership and being extended an invitation to join and be funded by Athletes C.A.R.E. for all that Ponsi has done she is grateful to these people and organizations to finally see her project in action.