The WSU wrestling team started its season focused on the competition, but now have their eyes set on the community.
Christopher Gambino, head coach of the team, said the wrestlers started the season with the motto "get six," meaning to score as many points as possible. Now the team follows the motto "all in."
"We are becoming more and more passionate about 'all in' to be intentional in all aspects of life," Gambino said.
Supporting this new mantra, the team is collecting gently used winter garments, boots and blankets for the Spokane Union Gospel and Impact Ministry, as part of its event Wrestlers for Warmth.
"The name Wrestlers for Warmth just kind of stuck. We want to be able to physically provide warmth with clothing and love," he said. "You can hand donations to any wrestler on campus. We are trying to make it as easy as possible. Anyway you can get it to us is fine."
Donation centers include the Student Recreation Center room 250, the CUB and on the Glenn Terrell Mall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day until Nov. 22.
Gambino said the team strives to serve the community as much as possible.
"I have a friend in campus ministry, and she is heavily involved in Spokane," he said. "I was talking to the Moscow Youth Wrestling head coach, and he said he could get all his wrestlers to join in."
The wrestling team participated in summer community service projects, including those coordinated by Real Life and a house-building project for an elderly woman, Gambino said.
Freshman team member Bailey Poitra said coordinating a philanthropy project as big as Wrestlers for Warmth was a bit of shock.
"We had been doing charity projects before, but we are really stepping up, making a bigger impact," Poitra said. "We will keep doing similar things and then start doing really big things, and this is just a stepping stone."
The team is excited to see how many people it can reach out, he said.
While the wrestlers collect donations for their community, they are also working to collect funds for their team, Gambino said.
He said the team is under-funded for every tournament this season.
"We love being able to serve the community, but I promised to take them to the highest level of competition, and we currently can’t afford to go to Nationals," Gambino said. "Last year we had two people qualify, and we couldn’t afford to send them."
The wrestling team is selling sweatshirts to raise funds for travel. As an incentive, those who donate an item to the clothing drive will receive a $3 discount off their sweatshirt price.