Posted by: allisonbarnes | March 22, 2011

UNC Rowing Visits Charles House

While the UNC Rowing team visited with participants at the Charles House, they demonstrated how team work was needed in order to be successful.

With the N.C. Children’s Hospital so close to campus, volunteering for the kids is common among the UNC population. There are so many great opportunities to help the children that at times other groups can go unnoticed.  One group in particular is the elderly.  But on Feb. 16 the UNC Rowing team visited with patients at the Charles House.

Charles House is an elderly day facility located in Carrboro, NC.  The House offers participants a place to interact with people in the community while also offering support to their families.  Every day Charles House schedules at least 2 activities for participants, ranging from artist visits to preparing meals for the local homeless shelter. One of their favorite activities though is having UNC student-athletes visit and share their sports.

“We follow all sports, especially the  Tar Heels!” Exclaimed Kate Shaw, the program director at Charles House.

Shaw describes the participants at the Charles House “Tar Heels born and bred,” as there is only one Duke fan.  Because of the common love for sports, staff members try to incorporate different sports throughout the week. Since the Rowing team’s visit, the House has added rowing to their exercise routine.

During the Rowing team’s visit, participants learned how the student-athletes work together as a team while competing. They demonstrated how they rowed and showed pictures and videos of their competitions during snack time.

“The participants loved the small group feel and being able to get close to the athletes,” said Shaw.

One of the participants was so excited to have the team visit that he returned to the House after an appointment. But he didn’t come alone. He was so excited that he wanted to share the experience with his wife.

“Although some of our participants have trouble sharing the details of their day with loved ones, they respond to the positive energy and enthusiasm the teams bring to us,” said Shaw. “I’ve heard them say ‘We had the UNC Athletes come to visit us today’. It makes them feel very involved in their community.”

Shaw had nothing but praise for the UNC Rowing team and other UNC athletic teams.

“I know they’re extremely busy and they spend their breaks training,” said Shaw. “For them to give up any of their time when they aren’t studying or in class or participating,  it’s just amazing that they give back to the elderly.

The UNC rowing team has visited the Charles House twice so far this academic year. The team hopes to return again after their season is over.

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