SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Harrisburg’s volleyball team is in the midst of a 35 game win streak, which goes back to more than a year ago and includes a state championship. While the Tigers are certainly busy on the court, they still made time on Tuesday to give back to their community.
Harrisburg is off to an undefeated start this season, cruising past every opponent they face. The Tigers have stuffed everyone who’s crossed their paths, but on Tuesday, they turned their attention to stuffing tigers.
“We’ve got these member benefits called Thrivent Action Teams, where we give you some seed money, $250 in seed money to go out and do good with a service project, a fundraiser or something educational,” Harrisburg mom and event organizer Melanie Keegan said.
The money was matched by the volleyball team then doubled again by several donors. That $1,000 was used to buy supplies needed for their community service project.
These tigers will now be put to good use by the Lincoln County Sheriffs Department.
“I like to think that I’m super approachable, but at the end of the day, an eight-year-old kid might be intimidated by me,” Lincoln County Sheriffs Deputy Anthony Zongo said. “If their parents are going through some type of situation where they get arrested or they have to go to the hospital and the kids are left with me for an hour or two, having this will definitely cheer up their day a little bit and get them more used to me.”
“At the beginning, I was like, we’re just stuffing tigers, but once the police officer came in, I felt like there was more to this. There is a meaning to it and it’ll help these kids a lot,” Harrisburg freshman Bergen Stiff said.
Notes were also attached to each tiger with words of encouragement from the volleyball team, adding another personal touch for when the tigers are put to use.
While Harrisburg has seen tremendous success on the court, Tuesday’s opportunity to give back to their community is their best win of the season.
“It is fun to give back and realize that these kids are super fortunate in homes that might not likely need something like this,” Keegan said. “It’s good for them to realize that not everyone is in that position and there’s ways they can give back and make a difference.”
The team had to stuff 100 tigers. 20 of them were purchased by the team, while the other 80 are being donated to first responders.