My First Month!

Hi LPF followers,

This is my first blog as part of Leveling the Playing Field! I have had a super busy first few weeks here. Max and I are definitely getting used to working together. It’s similar to having a college roommate since its just two guys here (and Moe).

Hi LPF followers,

This is my first blog as part of Leveling the Playing Field! I have had a super busy first few weeks here. Max and I are definitely getting used to working together. It’s similar to having a college roommate since its just two guys here (and Moe).

Since I‘ve gotten started, some of the things I am most proud of would be our partnership with East Coast Dyes, who have agreed to donate lacrosse mesh for our donated lacrosse heads.  I am also really excited about launching out yoga mat initiative so that we can donate to Title I schools that have expressed interest in exposing their kids to yoga. 

I have mostly enjoyed being a part of the distribution side of things. My site visits have all been unique experiences, having been able to visit a variety of schools and youth programs where I have met so many great people. The men and women who work in these programs have really good hearts and are incredibly kind, resourceful, hardworking, and patient. Without these internal tools, these programs simply wouldn’t exist because the people who run these programs are the real lifeblood of the process.  

My first visit was to Col E Brooke Lee Middle School. Besides normal equipment needs, the school also needed assistance with their inclusion program. In addition to sporting equipment, we donated trophies and medals.  The kids here struggle to communicate and the trophies will be used as a form of positive communication so that the kids can fully understand when they have done a good job.

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I also got to visit a program called Identity for at-risk Latino youth. Most of the children recently immigrated to the country and have little formal education in addition to not knowing English. This can certainly make for a challenging situation in this country. Identity provides a well-organized and thoughtful after school soccer program for these teenagers. In addition to the sports, there is a social support system in place to help keep the children on the right track.

The next day, I got to drive to Baltimore to visit Donte Samuel and his program “Dacoach Fitness” as well as KIPP (a charter school in Baltimore). During training, Max said that the site visits typically last 30 minutes. I ended up spending 3 hours at Bellmont Elementary School where Dacoach runs his operation. Coach is a really busy guy! He is the PE teacher for the school in addition to being a role model and frequent influence for at risk youth in Baltimore. He offers free personal training on the weekends and organizes sports leagues for the children.  We were able to provide them with football jerseys, golf clubs, softball equipment, and more to help children get more involved in youth sports during and after school.

At KIPP, I sat through their after school soccer program. With only a few volunteers, they manage to wrangle about 125 children into 5 teams to play soccer. It was pretty crazy to watch. The school has 1500 children in total. We brought them some more permanent soccer nets in addition to cleats and soccer balls. Most of the children (and their parents) enrolled in the soccer program are new to the game. We hope that the equipment provided will help grow interest in soccer in Baltimore. Additionally, we brought equipment for their baseball, basketball, and flag football programs.

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To conclude – I have learned a lot over the past month about the drastic need for sporting equipment in some of these low income communities.  So many programs struggle to both expose their kids to youth sports and offer a quality opportunity in large part due to major equipment constraints.  It has been gratifying to see the reactions of each coach, athletic director, principal and yo0uth sports staff when they see the quantity of equipment we are presenting to them.  I am excited to continue putting equipment in these kid’s hands so that they can enjoy the benefits that youth sports participation has to offer.


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