Beavs CARE prioritizes student athlete community service

Alexis Campbell, News Contributor

For many student athletes at Oregon State University, one rewarding aspect of being an athlete is the opportunity it brings for community service.   

Mikayla Pivec, a third-year on the women’s basketball team, came up with the program Beavs CARE last fall with her teammate Destiny Slocum. Together they decided on the name, “Corvallis Athletes Reaching Everyone.”

“Destiny and I got back from the Dominican Republic on a Beavers Without Borders trip and wanted to know how we could get more involved in the community here, and how to get the student athletes involved in this community that supports us in so many ways,” Pivec said.

For their first service project, the athletes in Beavs CARE gathered at a basketball donor’s house and made eight dozen cookies which they donated to the women’s and men’s homeless shelters in Corvallis.

Pivec estimated that about 20 students from various sports participated in this first project. According to Pivec, different teams at OSU usually complete their service projects separately from each other, though she aims to change that. 

Lindsay Lamont, a fourth-year nutrition major and a member of the women’s soccer team, has participated in multiple Beavs CARE projects. For Lamont, the opportunity to get to know other athletes while also providing a service to the community was invaluable. 

“Even though it was something small, baking the cookies and spending time with people I seriously would never talk to, was a joy in itself,” Lamont said via email. “Also knowing that I was able to put a smile on someone else’s face by doing something as small as baking cookies made me grateful for the little things.”

According to Pivec, one of the most important aspects of being an athlete is having a platform that can be used to give back to the community.

“We’re trying to do small things to help the community in any way we can, we have this amazing platform to be able to inspire and make an impact on others and we’re trying to maximize that,” Pivec said.

Most recently Beavs CARE partnered with Community Outreach Inc., a Corvallis-based organization that helps provide services to people and families in crisis. According to Lamont, the group collected food and hygiene product donations from shoppers at local supermarkets such as WinCo, Market of Choice, and Safeway.

“It was very successful and we were able to help out lots of people who use COI’s resources,” Lamont said via email.

Jamaal May works as the student athlete development coordinator, helping student athletes from all sports to participate in community service. He worked with Pivec and Slocum to get Beavs CARE up and running. According to Pivec, one of the most challenging aspects of starting the organization was getting the word out, but the student athlete development team helped with this.

May explained that in addition to the positive impacts on the community, service projects also help with the development of athletes and their character.   

“How rewarding and how fulfilling it is to know that you’ve inspired somebody and you’re able to reach them outside your sport,” May said.

For May, working with Beavs CARE on this goal has been inspiring.

“I’m proud to work with such a great group of student athletes who are willing to serve others, and to be leaders not only in their sport and athletic community but to be leaders on campus and in their community,” May said. 

In the future, Pivec is working on organizing a Beavs CARE service project at a hospital and aims to permanently raise the number of athlete volunteer hours per year. She also hopes that Beavs CARE will continue to help build strong relationships between teams.

“Sometimes we see each other in passing at games, but I think through volunteering we can really connect some of those relationships and get to know each other better,” Pivec said.

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