LA GRANDE – At Eastern Oregon University the values and principles of altruism, civility, discovery, integrity, interdependence, and quality are what guide the success of students, faculty and staff. Recently, the Mountaineer Football team demonstrated those values as they partnered with Greater Oregon STEM.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In the state of Oregon, STEM provides services to seven counties on the east side of the state. One of the counties that STEM provides help with is Union County.
For EOU Football, partnering with Greater Oregon STEM was a way for them to give back to a county that has supported them on the gridiron. They did so by putting together activity boxes for fourth graders in the county that they were able to take home and use to continue their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reporter Ryan Smith sat down with EOU student-athlete Dillon Holliday via a Zoom conference call and discussed the impact of the Mountaineers helping children in the community during these unprecedented times.
“I would say we easily put together over 500 to 1,000 boxes,” Holliday said. “Just me in my personal group with four to five other guys, we put together 200 boxes at least. There were multiple groups going and it was a really efficient assembly line.”
As for the material in the boxes, there ranged a wide assortment of things to information pamphlets, pencils, glue, flyers, and any school related material that was beneficial to the students. The boxes also included snacks and food for those in need of it. For Holliday, the feeling of providing that kind of help did not go unnoticed.
“It makes me feel amazing because no kid anywhere in this world should go a day being hungry,” Holliday stated. “It is every kid’s right to have a meal, so being able to do my part and helping the university give back feels great.”
Along with the feeling of giving back to the local community, Holliday knows the impact this also has on him and his teammates and the memories that they make from moments like these.
“I’ll mostly remember working in a positive environment with my teammates and seeing all of us collectively work together to get a job done for a good reason,” Holliday noted. “It shows how a bunch of 18 to 22-year old’s, if they put their minds together, they can get anything done.”