Women's Basketball - Tue, Jan. 6, 2009
CHICAGO - Brittany Jones (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew), a freshman forward on the Saint Xavier University women's basketball team, knew she could not use up the $375 of excess funds on her meal card before the semester ended this past December. Since she knew the funds would not carry over to the next semester and did not want to use it to buy loads of unnecessary snacks and drinks, Jones figured out a better way to spend the excess money. Working with SXU Dining Services, Jones used her remaining meal funds to purchase 60 pounds of turkey and ham, cheese, 26 loaves of bread, 150 apples, 150 bags of potato chips, boxes of snacks and 14 cases of pop and water. Along with the help of some of her Cougar teammates, Jones used the purchased food to create 150 sack lunches and distributed the lunches this past weekend to those in need using a group of volunteers based out of Robbins, Ill.

"Over the years, I have seen so many students use their extra money to stock up on snacks, drinks and even clothing at the University bookstore, but this is definitely a first," said Saint Xavier University women's basketball coach and athletics director Bob Hallberg. "This is such an act of pure unselfishness and captures the essence of what the holiday season is truly about. Not only did Brittany give up her extra money, but she also gave up her time during our holiday break to help take care of those who are less fortunate. Brittany is a very special type of person."

Feeding the homeless was not her only act of goodwill during the holiday season. On Christmas Eve, Jones helped collect and distribute nearly 50 pairs of socks and shoes as well as individually wrapped Christmas gifts for homeless children around the Chicagoland area. Her mother, Pamela, also raised over $2000 this past Christmas season alone for families in need.

"My mother (Pamela) has always instilled in me a need to not be wasteful, because there is always someone who needs more than they have," said Jones. "When I saw the amount of leftover money on my meal account, I knew I had to try and use it for a worthwhile purpose. I cannot thank Joseph Vetter (SXU's Director of Dining Services) and Michael Smith (SXU Senior Executive Chef) enough for the help they provided in getting me the food for the sack lunches. My teammates were also a big help in dividing the food into individual lunches. This was definitely a team effort."