As part of the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the Southland Conference will profile a community service outing from each of our 13 member institutions this holiday season. HBU student-athletes escorted the bowling participants in the opening ceremonies while providing moral support throughout the competition. The Huskies were able to have many meaningful interactions with the competitors and their families. “The kids enjoyed spending time with our student-athletes, especially since they were the youngest individuals there,” said Heather Wyatt, HBU’s Assistant Director of Compliance and SAAC advisor. “Some of the student-athletes were able to jump in and play a few frames with the kids, which caused them (the children) even greater joy and the ability to interact.” Additionally, on Dec. 3, the track and field team volunteered at the 39th Annual Jingle Bell Express run by the Christian Community Service Center to provide new toys, books and holiday food packages to underprivileged children and their families. HOUSTON, Texas – Forty-five Houston Baptist student-athletes volunteered at the Special Olympics Bowling event Dec. 1 at Copperfield Bowling Center on the city’s northwest side. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) coordinated the Huskies’ participation for the fourth time in the last five years. The SAAC committee worked in conjunction with the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the conference’s league-wide holiday service project, which is now in its 12th year. HBU student-athletes returned to working with Special Olympics this year after taking a one-year hiatus last winter while assisting with Hurricane Harvey efforts. The tradition of the two groups working together began in 2014. Special Olympics Texas is a year-round movement, holding more than 300 competitions annually in area, regional and state levels. Event divisions are based on age, gender and ability level in order to give athletes an equal chance for success. Each participant receives a medal or ribbon following their events.