As a part of the many Halloween festivities that took place in the Harrisonburg area, the James Madison women's soccer team aided in facilitating a 'trick or treat' event on October 31, 2012 in Godwin Hall. This event was specifically for children around the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County community with disabilities.
The athletes set up in stations around the ground floor of Godwin Hall. The children went around to the athletes at different areas and held out their bags anticipating candy and treats. The women's locker room also served as a station where the participants could 'trick or treat', just as if they were doing so out in their neighborhoods. The children knocked and the athletes opened the door and handed them candy.
There were also game stations set up for the participants where each athlete assisted the children and helped them earn candy as they went along.
Comments about the event and the importance of volunteering from the student-athletes:
"It was an amazing opportunity to be able to volunteer and spend time with the special needs children at Godwin. The children had a great time! They enjoyed dressing up in their costumes and being able to play games with our team; and don't forget about the candy! It made me so happy to see them in an environment that made them comfortable and where they could express themselves and not be judged by their disabilities. My favorite part about volunteering was being able to see them smile and be carefree of their disabilities for the day. The smiles they had when they knocked on the locker room door to receive candy from our team were absolutely priceless."
- Meghan Poirier
"Volunteering at this event was a lot of fun and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. They seemed so happy to receive candy and play games with us."
- Katie Hyland
"It is so important for us as a team and as representatives of JMU to go out in the community and show how important this Harrisonburg community is to us. It takes so little to give back to the community and to see how much of an impact we can have just going and visiting the local schools or participating in events like this makes it worth so much."
- Ellen Forrest
"I think it is very important to give back to the community because they give our team and our school so much support and they deserve something in return. We also get to show that we are not just in the 'JMU bubble', and that we give back to people and stay connected with those outside of JMU."