Clarksville, TN – Started as a small effort to help a hand full of families get some extra groceries around the holidays four years ago, Austin Peay State University’s athletes and Athletic Department have seen the Govs Give Back program grow into a department wide community project that helps over 300 under privileged families.
Andrea Mangrum, wife of Govs assistant baseball coach Joel Mangrum and huddle coach/volunteer with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, along with FCA athletes wanted to do an event to help give back to the Clarksville community.
“We kind of started the vision with the FCA and those athletes really wanted to start an event,” Mangrum said. “The athletics department kind of got wind of it and everybody wanted to be involved and everyone started take donations.
“From the athletic director down to team managers and athletic trainers, everybody was involved this year and that is what helped us raise a record-breaking $3500, so 300 or so families will get enough groceries to last them two weeks.”
The event has also partnered with Manna Café for the fourth straight year, as the two groups handed out and delivered food December 7th in the parking lot at Burt Elementary School.
“This is our fourth year to partner with Austin Peay to do an event around this time of year and it’s a good partnership for us,” said Manna Café founder and director Kenny York. “This is an extra boost and this time we’ll be giving out some turkeys and hams to some families until they run out. This is one of the biggest trucks (loads) that we’ve done in a while.
“The FCA and the Austin Peay athletic department raise the money so we can get the food and then we go and stretch it as far as we can. We’ve planned for 300 families, but I think we’ll have a little more than that, but we’ll stretch it little if we have more (families) at the end. Luckily the weather held out, because we were holding our breath hoping everyone was going to be able to be here. The roads turned out not to be bad, it’s just a little nippy.”
Every Austin Peay athletic team, except the men’s and women’s basketball team who were out of town with away contests, took shifts in the 20 degree weather starting before 8:00am unloading, separating, packing and handing out the food.
Mangrum also added that hopefully the event can grow into a twice-a-year event.
“I would love to do these two times a year,’ she said. “I think everyone always thinks about Christmas and giving back, but I would love to do one in the spring too in April.”