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Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Cougars team up with Star of Hope


Cougar fans: don’t forget to wear red and paint your face before going to the Cougar football home opener against Southern on Saturday.

And don’t forget to bring some canned goods.

For the second consecutive season, the Cougar football team and UH Athletics is partnering with the Star of Hope Mission in the Thanks for Giving Campaign to collect non-perishable food items at all UH home games in 2008.

"It’s really part of our community outreach program. We try to instill in the athletes that they have not just a responsibility in terms of academics, but to do things for people who are less fortunate," Dave Maggard, the Athletics director at UH, said.

This year’s participation in the campaign follows the success of last year, when fans donated nearly six tons of food throughout the season.

"It’s been a good relationship. I think the athletes have enjoyed it and I think the folks at Star of Hope really enjoy it, so it’s been good," Maggard said.

To promote fan participation, the UH Athletics department will provide fans who donate at least five items with a voucher which can be used to purchase discounted tickets to future UH home games or at Cougar Authentic, which is located in the Athletics/Alumni Center and sells UH apparel and other items.

"We want to encourage our fans to bring food donations…and we’ll do some special things for people who bring food, but the whole idea is to call attention to the organization, what it represents and whoever can help in the situation," Maggard said.

According to a UH Athletics department press release, the Star of Hope affects over 900 Houstonians daily by providing them with food and clothing, giving them a place to sleep at the organization’s shelter or teaching self-improvement skills through various classes.

Star of Hope promotes "positive life changes… through structured programs which focus on spiritual growth, education, employment, life management and recovery from substance abuse," according to the organization’s web site.

All donations will be presented to the Star of Hope during halftime at the last home game of the regular season against Texas-El Paso on Nov. 22 at Robertson Stadium. In addition, UH athletes from various teams will volunteer at the Star of Hope throughout the year.

"I think we have helped, not only with the food drive, but also with times when the athletes go out with the kids. We have a number of things where we do community outreach types of things with elementary kids and school kids, but the Star of Hope is a special one, so we really like being involved with it," he said.

Maggard said that the athletes have enjoyed working with the organization.

"The athletes have really taken to it. (At) different times we’ve had lunches and those types of things, the little kids are really enthralled with the athletes. We’re really happy to be doing it," he said.

Donations will be accepted at the Star of Hope truck, which will be at Robertson Stadium on Saturday, outside of Gate 7 or at the entrance to the new student section, which can be accessed at Gate 10 on the stadium’s north end. Students receive free admission to all Cougar home games with a valid CougarOne ID.


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