Dec 19, 2011 • By

A team with drive

Donation drives to help people in need are familiar holiday scenes. Volunteers collect spare change outside the grocery store, warm coats in the back of church and new toys by the library entrance.

We had to do a double take at one particular donation drive. We just had to learn more about the Boiler Crunch Cereal Drive.

For the last several weeks, the Purdue University women’s basketball team has been collecting boxes of Wheaties, Cheerios and other cereals for families across Indiana. Boiler fans had an opportunity to drop off donations at a couple big games recently, and can continue to at drop boxes at various Lafayette, Ind. supermarkets.

“Our players are always asking what they can do to help,” says Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp. “We go to veterans’ homes; we do a lot of things for cancer causes; we’ve had kids go to Haiti; we go to the soup kitchen.”

The team came up with the cereal drive idea after learning about the Food Finders Backpack Program. Thanks to the program, more than 2,500 kids in the Lafayette area go home from school each Friday with a backpack full of food. Cereal collected during the drive will go inside the bags.

“We know how precious it is to be able to eat and have nutrition,” adds coach Versyp.

The team has exceeded its goal of gathering a thousand boxes of cereal. So far, more than 1,200 donations have been collected.

“This means 1,200 families, not just 1,200 kids, will have breakfast,” emphasizes Kristine Jansen, program coordinator for Food Finders. “We’re just really glad to have the Purdue women’s basketball team and other supporters for the Backpack Program. The recession has really stretched our resources.”

Once all the donations have been collected, the team will make a halftime presentation to the Food Finders Backpack Program during its game tomorrow night against Oakland.

It won’t be just any halftime presentation. Fifteen-hundred students from eight Lafayette-area schools will be there for the hoopla.

With such compassion and charisma, it’s not surprising that the team wants to do another Boiler Crunch Cereal Drive next year.

In fact, they’ve already set their goal. In 2012, the team hopes to collect a box of cereal for every single child participating in the Backpack Program.

Great job, Purdue!

Let us know if you have a unique program that involves our products. We’d love to feature them her on our blog!