Giving back, that’s a feeling that every coach tries to instill on their student-athletes and the student-athletes at Missouri Southern have taken that thought and ran with it.

This year in the department’s annual Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat campaign, the student-athletes at MSSU helped collect canned goods that would then be donated to Soul’s Harbor in downtown Joplin.

The student-athletes broke the event up into two parts – first distributing flyers to neighborhoods that asked them to prepare donations and then later returning to collect the donations.

Their efforts culminated last week on October 20 when more than 7,500 non-perishable items (7,527 to be exact) were loaded onto trucks and delivered to Soul’s Harbor. That number broke the previous record for items collected which was a little more than 6,300 in 2017.

Officials at Soul’s Harbor say the donations each year by the student-athletes help keep their shelves stocked well into the spring and is the largest food donation by far throughout the course of the year.

Joe Kinder, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee said he and his fellow student-athletes are proud each year to work on a project like this.

“SAAC features a tremendous group of leaders from each sport that helped put on the event,” Kinder said. “And with the help of all the student-athletes and our community, we were able to reach a number that we never have before. The best part for us every year is seeing the looks on the faces of the team members at Soul’s Harbor, and hearing this kind of donation will last them until the spring. That alone makes all of the work we put into it worth it.”