Around the Yard: Connor Sakmar

Returning to for a fifth season, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" explores life away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrativeFor a full list of blog entries, click here.

For more student blogs from Harvard Admissions, click here.

Connor Sakmar
January 30, 2019

Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization that provides homeless and low-income children living in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago with the essential items they require to thrive - to feel safe, warm, ready to learn, and valued. Cradles to Crayons accepts donations throughout the year to ensure that these children have everything they need, but requires volunteers to help process and package the donations into appropriate packages for children in need. As a team, we have has made it a tradition to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons annually while we are on campus training during J-term.

There are many jobs to do, from sorting through donated clothes to creating packages to be sent to children, so we never know what task we will be given when we arrive. This year, we were in charge of the first station, which entailed sorting and organizing all clothing donations to determine if they are in suitable condition to be given as donations. While that might not sound like much, the Cradles to Crayons warehouse is filled to the brim with bags of donations and it would be impossible to go through them all without the help of volunteers.

At the end of our shift, the Cradles to Crayons workers tallied up all of the work that each volunteer group did. In just a few hours, our team was able to sort enough clothes to help 273 children in need. While the trip is always a great way to take our minds off of wrestling and work together in an off-the-mat activity, making an impact on this many children is rewarding and a nice way for us to come together. We’re proud to keep this as a running Harvard wrestling tradition!