College Athletes taking that 'Extra Step' for Underprivileged Ch - - No One Gets You Closer

College Athletes taking that 'Extra Step' for Underprivileged Children

SHERMAN, TX -- Thursday marked the first day of classes for students at Austin College. But for three members of the basketball team, this summer hasn't been much of a break. 

Those three players spent the summer forming a non-profit organization to help underprivileged children. It's called the "Extra Step" Foundation.

"I think John Green says it well," said Jeremy Swisher, the Secretary of the "Extra Step Foundation". "He says what's the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable." 

The inspiration to do that something remarkable began earlier this summer, when Austin College basketball players Cody Meyers, Josh Dickerman and Jeremy Swisher took a trip to Costa Rica to play against national teams. 

"We had an hour of community service," said Cody Meyers, President of the "Extra Step", "and it was to kids that didn't have father figures in their lives." 

Within a month, the sophomores formed the non-profit organization called the "Extra Step Foundation", focused on assisting children with life-threatening disease and their families. 

"The reason why we chose medical disease was because all our families have been affected by cancer or another medical disease as well," said Meyers. so it's just something that really hit home with us." 

Seeing first hand how a loved one's suffering impacts an entire family, the boys plan to only help the children, but their support system.

"Anything we can do to help them out," Josh Dickerman, the Vice President of the "Extra Step", "to fix their appliance, to make their everyday home life. Just a little bit easier, a little weight of their shoulders." 

As students and athletes with busy schedules, the group's name stems from the idea of taking "that extra step" for community beyond their everyday routine. 

"We're working on a partnership with Children's Medical Center," said Meyers. "And what they're going to do is their social workers are going to contact us when a family is in need." 

In two months, the boys have already raised a little over $1,000. They say the quick success is thanks to Austin College and many in the community showing great support, which they say came as a surprise. 

"Because I mean we're three college students that are starting a foundation," said Dickerman, "but in reality everyone has been so excited for us."

The boys say the Texoma community should be on the look out for several fundraising events in the near future. If you're interested in donating to the "Extra Step" Foundation, visit their website or their Facebook page