ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (BP)—In addition to putting together back-to-back winning seasons on the football field, the Ouachita Baptist University Tigers are committed to being winners off the field.
One winning tradition for the Tigers is their annual team Christmas project. For the past 10 years, Ouachita football players have collected financial donations to help provide Christmas gifts for area children in need.
According to Head Coach Todd Knight, players have collected more than $40,000 over the past decade, including more than $3,000 this year. In recent years, team members have provided the funds to help make Christmas wishes come true for nine Clark County foster children each year.
As players prepare for the project each year, “first of all, we read the Christmas story and what Christ has done for us,” Knight explained. Emphasizing that “the ultimate gift and giver is Christ,” he added, “The main theme of the project is doing something for somebody else and doing something bigger than football.”
Knight noted that Defensive Coordinator J.R. Eldridge “has done a super job of coordinating the project the past several years.” He said players raise money by washing cars, collecting change from fellow students, gathering donations in front of area businesses and other projects.
“Over this 10-year period, it has grown into something that the players take a lot of pride in,” Knight said. “It’s a lot of fun and the guys have a great time with it.”
Trennis Henderson is vice president of communications at Ouachita Baptist University.
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