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A Helping Hand

April 13, 2011

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By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

It’s been a little more than a month since the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami devastated the nation of Japan.

The images shown on American TV were disturbing. The mounting casualties and daunting task of rebuilding were a call to action.

Georgia Tech softball is answering that call.

“We’ve got a lot of emotional people on the team, me being one of them, and we’re very much aware of our surroundings,” said senior pitcher Kristen Adkins. “I think in this world, so often, especially in college, you find people who are just focused on their world and we don’t always take a second to step back and look around and see what’s going on in the world around us, and see what real-life problems are.”

The team is using this week’s home games against two of its biggest rivals, tonight against Georgia and this weekend against North Carolina as fundraisers. First pitch tonight is at 7:00. Saturday is a double-header, with games starting at 1:00 and 3:00, while Sunday’s finale starts at 1:00.

This isn’t the first time that the Yellow Jackets reached out to help out people in need. They did the same thing following last November’s earthquakes in Haiti.

“A lot of us on the team got together and we said, ‘This is something that we want to do. We want to find a way to help,'” Adkins said. “When everything this year with Japan went down it was the same thing. We might not be able to raise a whole lot of money but any little bit of money that we can raise to help Japan will pay off. It’s not something that we’re doing as a PR stunt or anything like that. We genuinely feel bad for those people over there and we want to help.”

“I think that’s just the type of kids that we have here at Tech,” said head coach Sharon Perkins. “It’s about more than just taking care of you. The selflessness that they show, it just shows what type of people they are.”

Tables will be set up outside Mewborn Field at the Folwer Street and 8th Street entrances for fans to donate. All money raised will go to the Red Cross.

“It means a lot,” said sophomore pitcher Hope Rush. “What happened in Japan was devastating, not just for Japan, but worldwide. I think it shows a lot about Georgia Tech, helping, raising money for Japan. I think it’s a great thing.”

Being athletes provides a unique opportunity to help, one the team couldn’t pass up.

“I think that any time athletics can be a source of impact on the world that’s a great thing,” said junior outfielder Shannon Bear. “Athletics are a huge part of our world today and just being able to give back and being able to be a part of something that is way bigger than we are is kind of an amazing experience.

“I want to be able to have as much of an impact as I can and as we can on the world, not just our country,” she continued. “I think that it’s great that we’re doing things to help out. We have so many gifts and we’re so blessed that anything that we can do to is just amazing.”

“I’d love to go over there and get my hands dirty and rebuild some things, but my life just doesn’t allow that right now,” said Adkins. “This is what we can do and we’re going to do it the best we can.”

For more information on how to donate to the Red Cross relief effort in Japan, click here


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