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Cross-Country among LIU Sports programs that give back during the Holiday Season

By Kendall Shamus, Staff Writer

Giving back to the community is something that people love to do in the winter months with the holidays right around the corner. On the LIU Post campus, the Division One teams are not only dedicated on the field but dedicated to giving back to the community as a team as well. 

This past month, the cross-country team volunteered at the Massapequa Fire Department, putting together food packages for those in need before Thanksgiving. This event was sent out as a suggestion on events to attend for athletic teams to partake in a “Week of Giving” among their programs. 

Courtesy of Athletics

Senior broadcasting major and cross-country team captain Perry Balsamo explains how the team heard about this opportunity, 

“Once we got a new coach [in Stormie Charles], she had called me and said ‘There’s an opportunity to go and volunteer at the Massapequa Fire Department to package meals for the homeless and the underprivileged,” Balsamo said.

Balsamo reached out to his team to get a group together and volunteer at this event. There was a great turnout of team members.

“This was really good because it was like hands-on, it felt more like you were involved rather than, just Venmo one person to go and buy cans for the team. So it was definitely more involved, which I liked,” he said.

At the event, each athlete took on a different task to effectively get meals packaged and ready for the community members. 

“There were four of us sort of working outside taking trays of food off a truck and placing them on tables outside. So, four of us were doing that. And then two more people were inside, making the food. And when we were together, we talked a lot with the community members. It was a great experience,” Balsamo shared.

Freshman health sciences major Josh Roos shared his experience at the event. 

“It was really nice to be with my teammates and to give back to the community. Everyone there was super welcoming with what we’re doing,” Roos said.

This community service turned into a team bonding as well. Doing good for the community allowed the team to spend more time together outside of practice and meets. 

“I think our team is already really close. I pretty much consider them my family. We eat every meal together, we do literally everything together. So it was really nice to be around those guys doing that type of thing, because it made it just a regular day hanging out. It was just giving back,” Roos said. “It was really nice because I think we’re able to display how much of a family we were to the people around there and the people in the community.”

The Cross Country team plans to continue to go out into the Long Island community to give back in the future. The team’s dedication to community service is a testament to the positive impact that sports can have on the community. Their work is an example of the power of sports to bring people together and make a positive impact on society.

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