What started as a request on Twitter turned into an NFL player visiting UW-River Falls to help raise money and collect food for those in need in the River Falls community.
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was at the University Center on Nov. 20 to sign autographs for those who donated food or money to the Kinnickinnic Backpack Program.
Kluwe is known not only for his punting skills, but for being one of the most active NFL members on Twitter. So when the office of Student Life had the idea to bring a local NFL player to campus to help raise money and collect food, they turned to Twitter and got a reply from Kluwe.
He said that as an NFL player, it is important to give back.
“One of the things the Vikings talk about a lot is community involvement, you know, making sure you give back, because we are very fortunate to be able to do what we do, and there are a lot of people out there that aren’t as fortunate,” Kluwe said.
Amy Lloyd, the event planner for Student Life, said that same message of giving back can be applied to campus.
“From our campus standpoint we have a lot of privilege. Our campus looks for different niches and partnerships to give to the community as much as possible,” Lloyd said.
Student Life and Sodexo asked Kluwe if he would help bring awareness to the food drive as they established a competition between Packers and Vikings fans to see who could collect the most pounds of food.
They also asked if the Packers would send a player, but due to scheduling they were unable to.
Amy Aschenbrener, the marketing manager for Sodexo, said they held a similar competition last year but that by adding Kluwe they were hoping to bring more awareness.
That incentive of bringing an NFL player to campus was an extra bonus for helping out, said UWRF student and Vikings fan Jacob Dinzeo.
“It is a great cause and he’s a good punter, so why not?” Dinzeo said.
Donations will still be accepted at food locations in the University Center until Dec. 3 and all those who donate will be entered to win tickets to the Vikings/Packers game on Dec. 2 in Minneapolis.
The office of Student Life estimated that nearly 200 students donated money or food during Kluwe’s visit.
Kluwe said that he was impressed with the turnout. “There were a lot of people there, just eager to help out,” Kluwe said. “It was a great event.”
Chris Kluwe and Student Life are helping to change the world, one Tweet at a time.