Fans, alumni, family and friends are encouraged to bring donations to last homestand

COLUMBUS, Ohio As the Ohio State women’s volleyball team closes out its regular season and autumn quarter classes, the Buckeyes look to spread the holiday spirit, collecting new toys for Community Kitchen, Inc.’s Christmas Eve Party. The team asks fans, friends and family of the Ohio State program to bring donations to its 7 p.m. conference matches vs. Penn State and Indiana Friday and Saturday, respectively, in St. John Arena.

For the toy drive, Community Kitchen has asked Ohio State to collect new, unopened gifts for boys and girls whose ages range between late childhood to preteen.

“In the big picture, what we are trying to do is just a small piece of a much larger social issue out there,” Geoff Carlston, Ohio State women’s volleyball head coach, said. “But it will make a real positive impact on the kids and families who receive these gifts during the holiday season. That is what matters most.”

After their final homestand, the Buckeyes will wrap and deliver the presents as a team to the nonprofit center on South Ohio Avenue in Columbus.

This collaboration is the second event this quarter the Scarlet and Gray is pairing with Community Kitchen, Columbus’ first soup kitchen that has been running for nearly 20 years. In August, the members of the women’s volleyball team and coaching staff helped prepare, serve and cleanup lunch at the kitchen.

“We had such a great experience working with the Community Kitchen earlier this year,” Ashley Hughes, a junior captain from Carroll, Ohio, said. “The experience brought our team closer together and gave us a new sense of appreciation. We look forward to working with them again and hope we can make this holiday season a little brighter for the kids.”

“The women’s volleyball team not only served but took the time to answer questions and talk with our clients last August,” Donald C. Ferrell, Community Kitchen, Inc., executive director, said. “It is a real pickup for our clients to have concerned young adults take time out of their busy schedule of academics and athletics to collect and donate toys for the children at the Community Kitchen’s Christmas Eve Party.”

Join the Buckeyes in the holiday spirit this weekend by bringing a new toy to their matches Nov. 29-28 in St. John Arena. Bins will be located on the main concourse to collect all donations.