Help a College Lacrosse Team Send Packages to Deployed Troops Overseas

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(Maryville University)

The men of the Maryville University Lacrosse team don't just wear red to "Remember Everyone Deployed," it's also one of their school colors. But the team puts that spirit into action every year with its annual "Saints for Soldiers" package drive.

Toward the end of every year, the team starts its crowdfunding effort to raise money for these boxes. For every $100 raised, they will be able to send a package of holiday cheer to a deployed service member. The year 2020, despite its challenges, is no different.

And the response has been overwhelming.

"Even before we went public with the crowdfunding campaign, we raised $4,500 from the parents and friends to the program," says Maryville Lacrosse Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator Chris Burke. "The fundraising campaign is a staple of the program."

The program grows bigger and bigger every year and the players and coaches couldn't be happier to put the work in to meet the growing demand.

In 2019, they were able to send 48 boxes overseas. This year, they’ve already exceeded its modest $10,000 goal, but like the troops they care to emulate, the minimum isn't enough. They want to blow away expectations and records, especially during such a tumultuous year.

The team is offering six levels of support for the effort, which also goes toward helping their lacrosse team. The minimum donation of $25 is greatly appreciated and goes toward filling those precious boxes. The other levels of $50, $100, $250, $500 and $1,000 will help support military members deployed during the holidays .

Maryville University is a small, private school just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. It's known for its fiscal responsibility, especially when it comes to athletics. The men's lacrosse team is a relative newcomer to the Great Lakes Valley Athletic Conference and this NCAA Division II school crowdfunds many of its athletic programs, mostly without rewards to donors.

Donors who look for an extra reward for their offering can rest assured that funding Maryville Men's Lacrosse is worth the effort. Each year's team looks to leave the program better than they found it.

The Maryville Saints Lacrosse team visiting a local VA Hospital on Veterans Day 2018. (Maryville Lacrosse)

Those looking to support the military-veteran community can also be sure that the year-end holiday package program does more than help those deployed. The Saints of Maryville also support local Veterans Affairs Hospitals, donating time and effort to vets in the St. Louis area.

To learn more about the Maryville University Lacrosse team, visit Maryville's athletics page. To help send a $100 care package to a deployed troop this holiday season, check out the "Saints for Soldiers" crowdfunding page.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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