In an effort to help worthy organizations during the spring semester, the USA South Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) developed, "Pennies for a Purpose", in 2008. This year's community service initiative, in its seventh year, began as the student-athletes returned from winter break. The schools had until March 31 to collect loose change which would later be donated to an organization of their choosing.
Overall, the USA South institutions collected $3,687.27. Over the seven-year history of the program, the USA South institutions have donated $24,870.10 to local organizations.
Covenant, in its first year in the conference, raised $432.00 to finish third in the competition. The proceeds will be donated to the Special Olympics of Chattanooga.
With a grand total of $822.71, Maryville College is the Pennies for a Purpose champion for the second consecutive year. The amount Maryville raised is the sixth-highest single-year total collected during this competition. Methodist University raised a school-record $480.91 to finish second. Finally, 11 out of the conference's 13 institutions increased their amounts raised from a year ago.
This is the second community service program developed by the USA South Conference SAAC as the "Cans Across the Conference" food drive, which takes place during the Thanksgiving holiday, was created in 2004. Through that campaign, USA South Institutions have donated a total of 278,652 items to their local communities.
Below is a list of the local organizations where the USA South institutions donated their collections:
Averett University - Special Olympics of Danville, Virginia.
Covenant College - Special Olympics of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Ferrum College - The Ferrum, Virginia Rescue Squad.
Greensboro College - Special Olympics of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Huntingdon College - The Wounded Warrior Project.
LaGrange College - The Children's Miracle Network.
Mary Baldwin College - Community Child Care in Staunton, Virginia.
Maryville College - Split between The Kay Yow Foundation and Special Olympics.
Meredith College - Special Olympics of Wake Count, North Carolina.
Methodist University - The Kay Yow Foundation.
N.C. Wesleyan College - Special Olympics of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Piedmont College - "Habersham Help" a local non-profit group that specifically raises money for the Habersham County Animal Shelter.
William Peace University - Tucker Jordan and his family of "Team Impact".