University of Dallas Softball, Women's Basketball serve community via Hearts and Hammers
DALLAS - On Saturday, Sept. 22, University of Dallas student-athletes – specifically from the softball and women’s basketball teams – teamed up with Hearts and Hammers to help refurbish an elderly person’s home in West Dallas.
Founded in 1986 by former Peace Corps Volunteer, Bob Walker, the mission of Hearts and Hammers is to repair the homes of low income homeowners, most of whom are elderly and disabled.
Tasked to repair and repaint a home in need of affection, those involved were pleased to participate in the philanthropic project.
This held true for freshman infielder Brittany Thompson.
“Hearts and Hammers was an incredible opportunity,” Thompson said. “Helping out the community was so encouraging and rewarding. The aide we were able to provide to families in need was an unforgettable experience.”
Junior post Christy Allen expanded upon Thompson’s sentiments.
“It can be pretty hard to be a student-athlete and find time to do anything but be a student and an athlete,” Allen said, “which is why Hearts and Hammers is great! It gave us a chance to bond as a team off the court and at the same time do something good and give back to our community.”
Witnessing first-hand their student-athletes actively contributing in the community reflects favorably in the eyes of a pair of third-year coaches, women’s basketball head coach Jina Johansen and softball head coach Amber Conner.
“Hearts and Hammers is a great community-service project our teams were able to participate in,” Johansen said. “We are thankful for Campus Ministry asking us to do so, and look forward to helping again in the future.”
“For me,” Connor said, “it’s very important for our teams to be seen in the community, and let people know that these student-athletes are doing great things on and off the field.”
About Hearts and Hammers:
“From one home painted by 24 volunteers the first year, the project has grown to three thousand volunteers who have refurbished close to a thousand homes.
City building inspectors identify the homes in need of repair. The homeowners are qualified through the People Helping People group of the Dallas City Department of Housing and Neighborhood Services. Hearts and Hammers then recruits volunteer teams through businesses, churches, civic groups and schools to work on the homes.
Once teams have been organized, Hearts and Hammers provides guidance to team captains in organizing volunteers and working on the homes. The repairs weatherize and beautify the home and bring many of the buildings up to city code.
Hearts and Hammers determines the materials needed, what professional assistance is needed, then orders and warehouses the materials. Some materials are donated, some funds come from personal and business donations and some funds come from the City of Dallas and HUD.
The Hearts and Hammers Planning Council members coordinate all activities on project days and provide support throughout the year to team captains. The project happens on two Saturdays once a year, usually in the fall.”
For more information, please visit: heartsandhammers-dallas.org.