Service tailgates to benefit local nonprofits at 2022 away games
Last year prior to the BYU Football game at Georgia Southern, alums, fans and friends donated 910 pounds of food, 200 winter coats and 300 boxes of diapers (among many other items) at a pregame tailgate. Similar service tailgates took place prior to games against Tennessee (2019), Baylor (2021) and the 2021 Independence Bowl with similar amazingly generous results.
This year, the BYU Alumni team behind the service tailgates has decided to expand their operations to run events at each away football game in 2022. Starting with the USF game this weekend, BYU Alumni, along with local alumni chapters at each game site, will be hosting “Cougs Care” pregame tailgates that incorporate a service project for local nonprofits.
"BYU alumni are 100% focused on connecting for good. We want to connect our communities, our families, our alumni, and our friends — and what better way than through service and a good football game," said Michael Johanson, Alumni Association executive director. "As long as there are tailgates we will be working to find a way to serve local communities and make a difference everywhere we go and everywhere we are."
So far, tailgates are planned to benefit refugee groups, expand literacy programs and provide food and items for communities in need. So whether fans are headed to Tampa, Eugene, Vegas or Lynchburg, BYU Alumni hope they stop by — with or without a game ticket — a donate to a good cause. Here are the details for this season’s events. (Details for later dates will be added as they become available so be sure to check back prior to each away game.)
Game: BYU vs. USF; Sept. 3, 2022, 4:00 p.m. ET
Tailgate Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. local time
Location: Al Lopez Park, 4820 N. Himes Ave., Tampa, Florida
Service Project: A drive benefitting the Pasco County Schools Early Head Start Program
“The estimated poverty rate in Pasco County is 19.4% with children living in the home under 5 years old, which is approximately over 100,000 families,” said Sara Langi a supervisor with Pasco County School’s Early Childhood Program. “The Early Head Start/Head Start program in Pasco County provides no-cost early intervention and preschool services for over 800 families within elementary schools across Pasco County and in homes.”
Volunteers will be collecting diapers, wipes, baby wash, children’s books, children’s clothing, and monetary donations to be used for gas cards and bus passes. In addition to the service aspect, the tailgate will include fun and games, including food trucks, Cosmo and the BYU Cheer Squad, face painting and more.
Game: BYU vs. Oregon; Sept. 17, 2022, 12:30 p.m. PDT
Tailgate time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Location: 2800 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Eugene, Oregon
Service Project: Donation drive to benefit Eugene and Portland area refugees
"In conjunction with this game, we also have a fantastic opportunity to serve some of the newest members of our community: refugees that have recently arrived from all over the world," said Kristi Park, lead organizer for the Eugene service project. "Getting to know these wonderful people that are resettling in our area has been incredibly rewarding. Take time to serve and become friends and allies. They need our help to be the Lord’s hands upon this earth."
The BYU Alumni chapters in Portland and Eugene are working with Catholic Community Services, Catholic Charities, the Refugee Resettlement Coalition and Just Serve to raise donations for refugees in the Portland and Eugene areas. Organizers are hoping for donations of all kinds: diapers, diaper wipes, gift cards to area stores (such as Target, Walmart or Fred Meyer) or monetary donations. All supplies and donations will be split 50/50 between Eugene and Portland area refugee groups in need. Individuals do not need tailgate or gameday tickets to drop off donations.
Game: BYU vs. Notre Dame; Oct. 8, 2022, 4:30 p.m. PDT
Tailgate Time: TBA
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Service Project: A drive benefitting Three Square Food Bank
Three Square is the largest food provider in southern Nevada and works regularly with faith-based organizations like Catholic Charities and the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Game: BYU vs. Liberty; Oct. 22, 2022, time TBA
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Tailgate Time: TBA
Service Project: A literacy drive benefitting local children with book donations
The BYU Alumni Chapter and the BYU School of Education are combining efforts with the United Way of Central Virginia on a literacy service project. Attendees are encouraged to bring a children’s book they love to donate to area children.
Game: BYU vs. Boise State; Nov. 5, 2022, time TBA
Location: Boise, Idaho
Service Project: TBA
Game: BYU vs. Stanford; Nov. 26, 2022, time TBA
Location: Palo Alto, California
Service Project: TBA