Athletes Helping Families collection drive Saturday will benefit St. Paul families in need

In an effort to help local families , Macalester, Concordia-St. Paul and the Rip City basketball organization are teaming up Saturday for The Athletes Helping Families collection drive in the Gangelhoff Center parking lot on Concordia-St. Paul’s campus.

The collection event will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Suggested donations include clothing, non-perishable food items, toiletries and hygiene supplies. Monetary donations will not be accepted. Donations will be loaded onto a Salvation Army truck and delivered to St. Paul families in need.

All are invited to contribute what they can. Macalester men’s basketball coach Abe Woldeslassie, who worked with Concordia-St. Paul men’s basketball coach Matt Fletcher and Rip City basketball operators Peter and Kenny Olafeso to set up the event, marveled at the stockpile of donations recently brought to Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis, and hopes for a strong turnout Saturday in St. Paul.

“The more items we get, the better,” he said. “The idea is to gather as many donations as possible.”

Woldeslassie said all Twin Cities collegiate athletes are welcome to volunteer at the event. He expects to have players from just about all sports, from colleges ranging from Bethel to Northwestern-St. Paul to North Central and beyond.

“As coaches, we’re developing young people, and … we’re all working together,” he said. “These young people have a lot of power, and sometimes they don’t realize it. We can show them we’re bringing everyone together, we’re doing something really positive.”

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