University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Student-Athletes serve the under-served at the #fightongiveback Dinner

Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, but the season of giving has just begun. Trojan Outreach, in collaboration with the local nonprofit, Union Rescue Mission, hosted more than 200 guests at the Galen Center for a hot dinner and an evening of entertainment. The dinner was served by student-athletes from the football, track and field, soccer and tennis teams, followed by basketball games with both the men’s basketball (vs. Long Beach State) and women’s basketball (vs. Fresno State) teams.

The event is a passion project for McCall Hall, director of community outreach for USC Athletics.  The student-athletes interactions with guests from the Union Rescue Mission teach them a valuable lesson.

“The student-athletes are learning from the people they serve. The most important thing is the interaction,” Hall states. “It grounds them and puts them in touch with some very real everyday situations. Some of these athletes are superstars, and this helps them connect to people who are in very vulnerable situations.”

USC student-athletes serve guest from the Union Rescue Mission during the #fightongiveback Dinner hosted by Trojan Outreach. (USC Photo/Saul Garcia)

Michael Pittman Jr., jumped at the chance to participate in the event. “I feel like I’m lucky to be here. I feel like giving back is really important,” said Pittman, “This is about helping people who are less fortunate and taking some stress off their backs.”

A special surprise guest that evening was none other than director of athletics and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Lynn Swann, who jumped at the chance to volunteer at the event.

USC Director of Athletics and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann serves guest from the Union Rescue Mission during the #fightongiveback Dinner hosted by Trojan Outreach. (USC Photo/Saul Garcia)

“We are building bridges with the mission and doing something that benefits people in our community who need our help,” Swann said, “Today we focus on helping the people here, tomorrow we’ll help someone else, but it’s about continuously building bridges and helping those that are in need.”