Cameron U. coaches helping concerned citizens

  • Left: Emma Andrews Right: Jim Jackson
    Left: Emma Andrews Right: Jim Jackson

OKLAHOMA CITY – Since all Cameron University athletic contests have been canceled for the remainder of the spring semester, several of the school’s coaches have volunteered to help their neighbors during the (COVID-19) Coronavirus crisis.

The school’s student-athletes and coaches are expected to perform 2,500 hours of community service as a civic duty and a way to engage with the citizens of Southwest Oklahoma, Cameron Athletic Director Jim Jackson said. The university has approximately 200 student-athletes, he said. Jackson said he was reading an article about people “fighting over groceries and toilet paper” and public concerns about contracting an infectious disease such as COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus.

At approximately the same time, the head coach of Cameron’s women’s basketball team, Emma Andrews, “reached out to me about a way to perform our community service requirement,” Jackson said. With the coronavirus threat expanding in Oklahoma and across the nation, many residents “don’t want to fight crowds” and are worried about exposure to a potential carrier of the disease, he said.

So, Andrews proposed a grocery delivery service for Lawton residents who physically can’t, or simply don’t want to, leave their residence. Jackson quickly approved the idea. “This is really directed toward elderly citizens,” Jackson said. “My mother’s younger sister said the measures that are being taken because of the coronavirus reminded her of when she was a kid; polio was a widespread threat, so my grandparents restricted her to their house.”

Jackson, in turn, submitted Ms. Andrews’s idea to Cameron President John McArthur, and he heartily approved of the plan. And that resulted in a “Flash & Dash Announcement.” Since all Lone Star Conference athletic contests have been canceled through the end of May, “Our athletic staff wants to help,” the announcement reads. “Please let us know if you are unable or do not want to risk going out of your house right now with the current coronavirus situation. We are more than happy and willing to help out.”

If the resident will contact Andrews, “she will organize an arrangement where you leave a list and grocery money in a mailbox or somewhere where we can get it, and we’ll get whatever we can that is on the list and return the change and leave the groceries at your front door. We will not even make [in-person] contact,” the message assures potential customers.

“We would love to help as many people as possible through these rough few weeks... Please use us if you are in need. Thanks, and please remember to Keep the Faith!” Andrews said several other Cameron coaches have volunteered to help her in this project. “Lawton does a lot for our athletic department,” said Andrews, who recently completed her fourth year as the head coach. She can be reached at 580- 574-0353. “We’re trying to do what we can for our citizens,” said Jackson. He can be contacted at 580-678-6479.