(Photo: Courtesy / Hillsdale Col­legian)

When Hillsdale College ath­letes leave hotels on road trips, they make sure not to leave any of the travel-sized toi­letries in their rooms. This isn’t a bud­geting tech­nique created by college stu­dents to save a few bucks, it’s a part of one of the ath­letic department’s revived service ini­tia­tives.

In con­junction with the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Com­mittee, or SAAC, and the Great Midwest Ath­letic Con­ference, Hillsdale is taking part in the Ath­letes Col­lecting Toi­letries program, which encourages col­le­giate ath­letes to gather their unused com­pli­mentary toi­letries at the end of road trips, so that they can be passed on to those in need of them.

Senior Dugan Delp, student pres­ident of Hillsdale SAAC, said it’s a nice way to make an impact, without having to ask fellow stu­dents for mon­etary dona­tions.

“At Hillsdale and a lot of the other schools in the G-MAC, ath­letes are also involved in greek life and other orga­ni­za­tions which do a lot of phil­an­thropy work and fundraising,” he said. “Because of this, it can be hard to dig into the stu­dents pockets again.”

Delp said each team has a col­lection box in their respective locker room, and at the end of the year they will send the toi­letries to Over the Rhine Living Waters Church, in Cincinnati, Ohio, which will then pass them on to those in need.

“It’s really cool, because they are a really good Christian orga­ni­zation and they stand for really great things,” Delp said. “They’ve grown really well, and they’re all about, for instance, taking in homeless adults and teaching them the skills to be inde­pendent. One of their pillars is the dignity of the human person…and these little toi­letries really help to cut their cost.”

According to head women’s tennis coach and SAAC advisor Nicole Wal­bright, the ini­tiative comes as part of the G-MAC’s grander push toward com­munity service.

“I think it is a great concept,” she said. “The con­ference does an excellent job to promote doing work outside of ath­letics. Most all SAAC groups do work to increase vol­un­teering, support local char­ities, and enhance the student-ath­letes’ well-being in avenues other than sport alone.”

Although Wal­bright said most teams don’t have travel-heavy schedules in the fall, she expects the various teams will collect a sub­stantial amount of per­sonal-care products.

Delp said SAAC rep­re­sen­ta­tives on each team are in charge of reminding their team­mates to grab their extra items before they leave. He added that knowing where the products are going helps encourage players to take the small extra step.

“It’s not hard to just grab those extra things and bring them into the van,” he said. “Plus when people know about Over the Rhine, and how impactful they are…they are more com­pelled to actually do it.”

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    This is a really great idea. I travel a great deal on business and collect soap, shampoo, con­di­tioner and other toi­letries from the hotels I stay at. I give it all to my Church and the mis­sions they support. A great way to save a few Dollars.