As the National Day of Service and Remembrance came to a close, Sprite renewed the urgent call for volunteerism across America by launching the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge on the Mall of Washington on September 12. As part of the Sprite Step Off, the largest college Greek competition ever, the Service Challenge presents an opportunity for young people to refresh their communities through volunteerism.
The Sprite Step Off Service Challenge urges young people across the nation to step up and donate a collective 1.5 million hours of service over one year. Through partnerships with national and local non-profit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Ronald McDonald House Charities, and supporting the national United We Serve volunteer initiative, the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge encourages college students, young adults and teens to focus volunteer efforts on education, active living and community involvement.
“The Sprite Step Off Service Challenge builds on The Coca-Cola Company’s lengthy heritage of giving back to its communities and the strong service foundation of multicultural Greek Letter organizations,” said Maurice Cooper, brand manager, Sprite, Coca-Cola North America. “With the Service Challenge, we want to spark a grassroots movement to get Americans of all ages excited about making service a part of their everyday life.”
McDonald’s, also a participating sponsor in the Sprite Step Off, responded to the call to service by engaging the company’s charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities, to provide service opportunities for participating steppers. For the Sprite Step Off kick off event, held in conjunction with the 24th Annual Black Family Reunion Celebration, the day started bright and early with a group of 16 college students, “the Sprite Step Off Steppers,” visiting the Falls Church, Va. Ronald McDonald House. After receiving a presentation on the immediate and positive impact of the Ronald McDonald House makes as a “home away from home” for families of children hospitalized, the Steppers worked to disinfect toys and clean play areas of the house. After the service activities, the Sprite Step Off Steppers performed a mini step show to the delight of the families.
“They were definitely the most enthusiastic volunteer group we have ever had,” said, Barbara Clarke, House manager, Ronald McDonald House of Northern Virginia. “Families were extremely appreciative of their efforts to brighten their day and that of their seriously ill children.”
The students then returned to the National Mall to entertain youngsters from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. The Sprite Step Off Steppers also taught youth the art of stepping and mentored them on the pursuit of higher education.
The Sprite Step Off will host 30 events in 25 cities. At each stop, teams eligible for the regional level tournaments will participate in mandatory service activities with local Boys and Girls Clubs. Additionally, individuals or organizations interested in accepting the Challenge to make a difference in their communities can visit SpriteStepOff.com/servicechallenge to register; identify volunteer opportunities; and track hours of service.