On Oct. 29 the Missouri Western women's tennis team braced the cold to volunteer at the Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph. The team volunteered their Sunday beautifying the outside of the facility, pulling weeds and dead plants, preparing the plots to be ready for new flowers in the summer.
The Griffons women's tennis coach Olaya Garrido-Rivas attended the event with every member of the team present. Rivas said that the team did an excellent job and loves to volunteer but that due COVID-19, they did have to switch up their usual plans.
“We were looking for opportunities to help the community and normally we got to go to schools and do all that stuff for the year,” Garrido-Riva said. “The community service professionals had to look for a bit of different types of opportunities.”
The volunteer opportunity for the women's tennis team was set up through the Center for Service. Dr.Gary Clapp and Jennifer Stover run the center and connect students with volunteer opportunities as well as the option of earning credits through volunteer hours. Stover connected Garrido-Rivas to Mosaic and arranged for the students to help out.
Julie Case, the volunteer coordinator of Mosaic, was very happy that the team took the time to come and help out. Case said that although the members couldn’t come inside the building they saved the staff hours of work that would have been spent on the flower beds.
“I spoke with the manager and asked if he had any projects for the students to do outside of the hospital that work with COVID restrictions opportunities where they didn't have to go inside. His idea was perfect, he said he has a project that was to basically remove all the dead flowers from all of the flower beds so they could prepare for the next planting," Case said.
Case went on to tell that the Mosaic manager Eric had working gloves ready for all the members of the team, and helped the girls out on the project. Case also said she is very happy with the partnership between Mosaic and the Center for Service that allows them to get volunteers while the students earn credits.
“It's been great we're getting really high caliber students applying for a program. So it's been very happy with them," Case said.
When the tennis team isn’t tearing up the competition on the court they hope to continue looking for volunteering opportunities and other ways to serve the community of St. Joseph.