Monday, December 19, 2011

Huskies Help Out at Calhoun Food Drive

Jim Calhoun is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. One thing I'll never question, however, is his dedication to charity.

Calhoun is involved in numerous different charities for numerous different causes -- cancer, autism, feeding the poor, etc. One of his most cherished and long-lasting charitable efforts is the Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive, which has benefitted tens of thousands of needy Connecticut families over the years.

The event, which started in 1999, was held again on Monday, with Calhoun and his players distributing holiday meals for hundreds of Hartford families at the Pope Park Recreation Center and St. Monica's Episcopal Church.

"It's a great thing," said Calhoun. "We started very small. We did run out of turkeys are first year. I think we had about 500 turkeys. Now, we have about three or four times that. It's incredibly gratifying."

Indeed, the line snaking out of the rec center numbered well over 300 people at the start of the event. It's a good chance for UConn's players to give back to the community. Even though they live on campus, some 25 miles away, and only tend to spend time in Hartford in the summer playing in the Greater Hartford Pro-Am, many of the players come from neighborhood similar to inner-city Hartford.

"This may be the most hard-hitting, in the sense that they recognize a lot of faces. They really do. It's not that they know the people, necessarily, but this is the neighborhood for them," Calhoun said. "This is the most tangible thing that we do every year. I go home, and it's a very good feeling."

Here's some video of Calhoun, Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels and Andre Drummond handing out turkeys at the food drive:

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