Doane ranks No. 1 in volunteer community service hours among NAIA athletic programs

The Tigers ranked No. 1 in the "Helper Helper Challenge." "Helper Helper" is an app that logs community service hours.

CRETE – Doane student-athletes logged more volunteer community service hours than any other NAIA athletic program in the country over the past year.

The Tigers ranked No. 1 in the “Helper Helper Challenge” since July 1 of 2019. “Helper Helper” is an app that logs community service hours.

“From a volunteer standpoint this year, we saw 770 students complete over 5,450 hours,” said Andrew Brown, Doane’s assistant director of the Hansen Leadership Program. “From student-athletes specifically, we saw 542 athletes give back.”

Nishesh Yadav was one of those athletes. The president of the Doane’s Student-Athlete Leadership Team (S.A.L.T.) and former member of the men’s soccer team, Yadav was instrumental in guiding the Tigers to this competition.

“When we brought the “Helper Helper” app to Doane, I think it was last year when we got it,” Yadav said. “It was something I’d been trying to help us have for a few years because of that NAIA group. I knew other schools were doing it.”

Turns out, Doane was doing community service better than all of them. However, the competition isn’t the reason they are doing what they do.

“Other times when you help out with people you kind of see, it puts it into perspective,” Yadav said. “It kind of humbles yourself. Makes you realize what you can be doing to help others.”

Doane’s community service team provides many opportunities for students and athletes to volunteer. They partner with the local food pantry and the Lincoln Food Bank to bring their own food pantry to Crete every Tuesday. They also provide several events for children throughout the year for specific holidays and special occasions.

Brown says Doane’s community service trips outside of Nebraska are especially important to the student-athletes.

“We had our Doane men’s basketball team, they went to the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Brown said. “And in between their games they actually helped out a local elementary school. They played basketball with them, they did some tutoring.

“It’s just awesome to see our students lift up our community and help out those in need.”

Doane was unable to take a spring break trip this year due to the coronavirus. However, the University was still able to help deliver 1,000 bars of soap and 1,000 pounds of hygiene supplies to those in need. They also help create masks for the Crete Medical Center.

Categories: Sports