This season, Notre Dame’s basketball team has been extremely active—on the court and in the Baltimore community. The whole team, players and coaches included, have participated in several service projects to build team spirit while helping out those in need—including Art with a Heart.
Along with several team members, Lindsey Webb (business ’18) and Ashley Guy (biology ’18) volunteered with the Art with a Heart program in Baltimore. Art with a Heart is a non-profit organization that strives to enhance the lives of those in need through visual art. This includes bringing interactive art classes to various facilities, making public art installations and running HeARTwares, a social enterprise retail store that sells wares made by participants and volunteers.
The basketball team heard about Art with a Heart from one of their assistant basketball coaches, Roxanne Cannaday. After finding out more information, they decided that they wanted to help.
During winter break, they went to the assigned volunteer site to color pictures and sew handmade mandalas to a tapestry. The colored photos will be used to make larger projects to be sold at HeARTwares. Meanwhile, the tapestry will be displayed at a school in Baltimore.
“The experience was heartening and calming. It served as a stress relief for our team and gave us time to spend together outside of basketball,” Webb says. “Most importantly, it was great that we could help our community while doing something so fun.”
Even though the teammates did not have much experience in artistic projects, they still felt proud of their work. Guy comments, “We were all put in vulnerable positions because we don’t really have artistic backgrounds. At first, we were hesitant. But after a while, we put our concerns behind and tried our best at sewing and getting it done.”
Webb and Guy both agree that volunteering has helped their team immensely. “I think volunteering makes the team stronger because we get to focus on something more than basketball,” Webb explains. Guy adds that off-campus activities that focus on volunteer work serve as opportunities for them to build team cohesion. “Activities like this bring us closer together as a team and center us around our purpose: to build a great Notre Dame basketball program and have fun doing it,” she says.