Limestone College recently joined hundreds of other colleges and universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in using the community service mobile application “Helper Helper” to track its teams’ volunteer hours.
Helper Helper, used by more than 1,000 NCAA institutions, is a free volunteer management and tracking platform used to calculate and document community service hours. It allows Limestone to connect volunteers to meaningful experiences around Cherokee County and the Upstate, and enables the College to compete for national recognition within Division II for the students’ engagement in service work.
“Our student-athletes are not required to complete community service hours, but they are greatly encouraged to do so,” said Curt Lamb, Limestone’s Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance. “We are proud of our student-athletes and the manner in which they represent Limestone within the Upstate. Helper Helper enables them to see for themselves how great they are doing individually and as a team in regards to service hours. They are thankful to the community for their support and are eager to give back.”
Limestone’s student-athletes volunteer for such causes as Rise Against Hunger, the Carolina Miracle League, and Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate, just to name a few.
By using the app, athletes can track their community service hours more quickly and efficiently. It is also an easier way for their coaches to keep track of the volunteer work their student-athletes are doing. Helper Helper also records where users are volunteering and the type of volunteer work they are doing, whether it be civic, faith based, environmental, etc. Using this feature, student-athletes can reach out to different types of community service projects if they see they are focusing heavily on one area of volunteer work. Coaches are then able to log into the app and see where their student-athletes have been during their community service work.
Lamb explained that the hour tracking has become a friendly competition between the teams within the Athletic Department at Limestone. The players are able to see the other teams’ hours and strive to surpass them. According to Helper Helper, the men’s lacrosse team currently holds the lead, completing over 500 of the 1,800 hours of community service accomplished since July 1. Of the 100 athletes on the team, 98 have volunteered in the community.
When it comes to percentage of player participation, softball and men’s volleyball currently lead the way at 100 percent.
The app also aids Limestone’s efforts to win the President’s Cup, which is awarded each year to the athletic program that best supports the Division II model of balancing academic excellence, athletics achievement, and community engagement. Each team is scored in five categories, including education and school, quality of season, athletic support, compliance, and commitment to community service. By adopting Helper Helper into their process, the Saints can vastly improve their community service hours, which further enhances their chances of capturing the President’s Cup. Previous winners have included women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, and field hockey.