Swimming for UNC Children’s Hospital
By: Benjamin Denton ‘20 communication
Earlier this semester, club swim at NC State hosted the 4th annual Pajama Drive Swim Meet at the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center.
Partnering with Duke University club swimming and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill club swim, more than 230 pairs of children’s pajamas were donated to the UNC Children’s Hospital.
UNC Children’s Hospital provides a list of items available for community donations, such as books, toys and pajamas.
“The pajamas are great for children who are there for chemotherapy or long-term care, as it keeps them calm and comfortable,” said co-president of the club Benjamin Hardin ‘20.
Typically for meets, swimmers are required to pay a monetary meet fee, which pays for renting the pool, the touchpad timing systems, snacks and other miscellaneous costs. For the pajama drive, participants instead donate two or more pairs of children’s pajamas to cover these costs.
“Giving back is part of who we are.”Sara Tønessen ’20
Many swimmers are able to go above and beyond the minimum donations with their immediate and extended families attending the event and donating. One family donated 17 pairs for the children.
The meet itself is completely volunteer based. Score is not counted between the teams and it does not affect the club’s record.
The pajama drive is only a portion of what club swim does to help the community. The club participates in Service Raleigh annually, volunteers as bell ringers for the Salvation Army every December, as well as at soup kitchens in the Raleigh area throughout the year, according to Josh Golden ‘19, the service chair of the club.
“We really pride ourselves on community service and giving back,” said Sara Tønessen 20’, co-president of the club.
This year, they added something new.The club has scheduled two work days at Habitat for Humanity to build houses in the Raleigh community, according to Golden.
“It gives the club time to work together and make a difference,” said Golden.
As for their plans moving forward with the pajama drive?
“Bigger and better,” said Tønnesen. The club plans to invite more club teams from universities around North Carolina to participate. “The more schools that participate, the more pajamas that can be raised for the children,” said Tønnesen.