For the sixth annual Weapons of Mass Construction (WOMC) event, the Princeton Varsity Club teamed up with HomeFront and Mathematica to host a Mother’s Day themed picnic at Rosedale Park in Pennington, NJ. Our goal was simple: have fun and connect with the community while providing an escape from the harsh realities that homelessness and poverty present to thousands of Trenton-area families.
For the last twenty years, HomeFront has established itself as an organization dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty and homelessness in the Central New Jersey area. HomeFront’s staff provides resources and the basic necessities for those underprivileged families dealing with transient housing. Established in 1968, Mathematica is a policy research company that is devoted to social policy evaluation, in hopes of finding the best solutions to promote well-being and reduce poverty and homelessness numbers.
Tiger student-athletes representing eight varsity sports volunteered to make the day special for the 150 people that came out to the annual picnic. Volunteers served in a variety of roles, including, cooking lunch for the families and interacting with the young children through games and activities such as basketball and face painting.
“Seeing the smile on a kid’s face after watching an arts and crafts project come to life or seeing the butterfly painted on their face in the mirror for the first time were the best parts of my day,” said Shirley Wang ’15, a junior member of the women’s swimming team.
“I mainly just hope that the kids had fun, and were able to forget about the stresses and challenges that they face in daily life,” said Jack Berger ’14, a graduating senior from the men’s ice hockey team. “I also hope that they feel like they can better relate to us. At their age, I never could have imagined myself as a student-athlete at Princeton University, so I hope that it can give them motivation and inspiration to work hard to achieve their goals.”
The partnership with HomeFront and Mathematica marked the PVC’s sixth Weapons of Mass Construction event. WOMC serves as a platform to connect Princeton student-athletes across all sports to collaborate and continue to understand the important of service in their own lives.
“Not every school has a varsity club like we do here at Princeton and it is important that we take advantage of it,” said men’s basketball student-athlete, Mike Washington ‘16. “Events like Weapons of Mass Construction allow student-athletes to come together. We all play different sports but here we aren’t basketball, football or hockey players, we’re Princeton Varsity Club teammates.”
If you’d like to get involved with HomeFront and their initiative call 609-989-9417 or send an email to [email protected].