Volunteers spend hours daily delivering food, other items to NCAA teams confined to hotel rooms in San Antonio

Volunteers want teams to “experience San Antonio in the most authentic way,” despite pandemic

They have jobs, families, and lives, but they’re taking the extra time to show just how hospitable San Antonio can be.

SAN ANTONIO - – They have jobs, families, and lives, but they’re taking the extra time to show just how hospitable San Antonio can be.

A group of volunteers is assigned to every NCAA women’s basketball team in town, bringing them food and supplies while teams adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols.

“I’ve made deliveries from the Cheesecake Factory, Zoe’s Kitchen, Smoothie King, coffee. It’s been probably about two or three runs a day, taking about four or five hours out of the day,” said volunteer Kristen Torring.

Torring is one of about 100 local people working as virtual host volunteers. The volunteers signed up through the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee and San Antonio Sports.

RELATED: Downtown San Antonio sees boost in tourism during NCAA women’s tournament

The volunteers pick up whatever food, laundry, pharmacy necessities, and any other items and drop the bags onto a table outside the hotel. Then, team staff members go to grab the items and take them to the players or coaches.

“We’ve also gotten some fun requests for cascarones, cowboy hats,” Torring said. “One of the coaches, he broke his glasses, and we had a virtual team host pick up glasses from Lenscrafters for him, so he was able to see and keep practicing.”

Torring is working for Stanford’s team, which has an exciting local connection.

“I work for NuStar Energy, and one of my coworkers, his daughter is Kiana Williams,” Torring said.

Williams is a star player who graduated from Wagner High School in San Antonio.

“I’ve followed her career. It’s been awesome. It’s kind of a full circle story to see her come back,” Torring said.

That genuine enthusiasm is showing visitors that San Antonio’s warmth and hospitality is always a slam dunk.

“It was really special to get the opportunity to get out there and help these teams kind of experience San Antonio in the most authentic way while we’re still in this whole virtual environment. It’s been fun running errands for them,” Torring said.

About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.