By Corinne Murdock |
The Grand Canyon University (GCU) men’s basketball team decided to give back to their community, opting to assist local homes with yardwork. Aidan Igiehon, one of the players, explained that he and his teammates felt satisfied with helping their community beautify their homes.
“When a group of guys come together and set a goal, and we achieve that goal, no matter what goal it is, it always feels really good,” said Igiehon. “So, we came in and saw just dirt on the floor and a mountain of rocks and now when you look at it and the rocks are all placed on the floor, it makes us feel really good.”
Igiehon added that the team plans to do more community work throughout their season.
Tuesday, GCU tweeted some clips of the team working, all dressed in purple t-shirts that read “GCU: OPERATION REVIVAL” on the front, and “VOLUNTEER” on the back. The players prepped the yards by laying and nailing down edging before filling the yard in. More video showed the team shoveling, raking, pushing wheelbarrows, and sweeping gravel and dirt into yards.
“ ‘As a team we want to give back. We have an awesome community that supports us and our basketball endeavors, so this is our way of giving back.’ -Aidan Igiehon,” quoted GCU.
“As a team we want to give back. We have an awesome community that supports us, and this is our way of giving back.” – Aidan Igiehon pic.twitter.com/n0dJxmMK8c
— GCU Lopes (@GCU_Lopes) September 28, 2021
Operation Revival is GCU’s ongoing neighborhood revitalization project with partner Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The pair teamed up in 2015 to assist local homeowners with home improvement and upkeep. It’s part of a five-point plan to improve GCU’s neighborhoods; this operation focuses on increasing home values and quality of life for residents.
In 2020, GCU reported that the project over the years has completed 662 repairs in the homes of 285 families. Additionally, GCU employees had given nearly $3 million to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.
In 2019, the Greater Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized GCU for Operation Revival. The university was given the Spirit of Philanthropy Award.
Homeowners are gifted with a purple GCU gnome, and volunteers are given purple shirts like the ones worn by the GCU basketball team. The university also hosts events to give special recognition to noteworthy volunteers.