Although Siena student-athletes and coaches have actively volunteered their time in the Capital Region for decades, the BlueShield of Northeastern New York Saints in the Community program was only formally established in 2002. The College and the Athletic Department mission statements site community service and volunteerism as critical components of the Siena experience. In fact, the first core value outlined in the athletic department's mission reads: The athletic department will provide opportunities in which student athletes can share in the Franciscan values of Siena through its Saints in the Community program. The department recognizes the unique place Siena athletics holds in the Capital Region and that it has a responsibility to share its major varsity sports teams with the community. In turn, the department set out to add structure and direction to the many hours of volunteerism and service its student-athletes and staff performs annually, and Saints in the Community was formed.
From soup kitchens to elementary schools, Siena's invests its special resources each year to enrich the Capital Region community. If you feel your organization could benefit from a relationship with Siena Athletics, we encourage you to contact us today. For a donation request form, please complete This Form.
The athletic department has identified three non-profit organizations as Saints in the Community partners: The Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Cancer Society and the Adopt-A-School Program.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
The Siena Athletic Department has partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities for the past five years in an effort to help ease the pain for sick children and their families. Throughout the course of the academic year each of Siena's 18 Division I sports teams has the opportunity to assist in this initiative. From preparing a meal at the Ronald McDonald House in Albany for the families of children with serious illnesses to visiting the children at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at the Albany Medical Center to participation in the House's spring cleanup, Siena's student-athletes and staff give countless hours to this worthy cause.
American Cancer Society
Siena's newest partner has the broadest scope of student-athlete and staff involvement. From the charitable annual Coaches vs. Cancer Basket Ball in downtown Albany each fall to the many Pink Zone games orchestrated by our women's sports teams, involvement with the American Cancer Society is an integral part of the Saints in the Community program. The Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRABB) - a non-profit organization that works in tandem with ACS has a long standing partnership with Siena's women's basketball program. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has also helped create opportunities to visibly promote our efforts to help combat the deadly disease through its annual Pink Zone games.
The newly redesigned Adopt-A-School program is a community initiative intended to motivate area elementary students through interaction with Siena's student-athletes. Members of Siena's athletic teams interact with designated schools throughout the year. In addition to providing guidance and leadership to area youths, Siena's student athletes learn first hand the value of volunteering in the community. The elementary students can find that learning is fun as teachers incorporate Siena Athletics into class lesson plans (i.e. using statistics for math assignments, or writing the players for English).
Siena's student-athletes correspond throughout the year and ultimately visit the school. Each school is presented with an Adopt-A-School poster, identifying it as a current participant in the program. Additionally, Siena publications and prizes are provided for the school to give out to students who are deemed outstanding performers. Each school receives 50 tickets to a men's and women's basketball game, and the entire school is invited to come to campus for a day in the fall and spring to watch other Siena student-athletes in action.
Siena's current adopted schools are:
Mont Pleasant Middle School
Kipp: Tech Valley Charter School
St. Mary's Academy
Delaware Community School
Brighter Choice School for Boys
Other recent Saints in the Community initiatives have included involvement with the following area organizations:
Northeast Regional Foodbank - Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and Softball
MVP Heath Care Youth Clinics - Men's Lacrosse and Men's and Women's Soccer
Capital Region Miracle League - Men's and Women's Basketball
Special Olympics - Softball and Volleyball
Animal Protective Foundation - Men's Basketball
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Men's Lacrosse
Center for Disability - Men's Lacrosse
15-Love - Men's and Women's Tennis
CDPHP's Kidpower - Men's and Women's Basketball
MAAC Gives Back - Men's and Women's Basketball
NCAA Yes Clinics - Various Sports
National Girls and Women in Sports Day - All Female Sports Teams