What if David Beckham never had a soccer ball to play with? What if Serena Williams grew up without a tennis racket? How might have their futures been different? We would never know considering the significance of sports in their lives.
That’s why DoSomething.org has launched a new campaign to make sure young athletes have what they need to participate in sports. The teen non-profit is teaming up with Olympic Skier and Sports Illustrated cover girl Lindsey Vonn for a national sports equipment drive, engaging teens across the country to collect gear in their schools and communities for young athletes in need.
Beginning September 6 and continuing through October 10th, young people around the country will set up collection boxes in their schools, churches and community centers to collect new and gently-used equipment to benefit their local Boys & Girls Club.
Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn is spokesperson for the Sports Equipment Drive, starring in a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) to kick off the campaign. Vonn urges young people to sign up and collect equipment to donate to deserving young athletes in their community.
“Since childhood, sports has been one of the most important influences in my life,” says Lindsey Vonn. “I’m excited to be part of a drive that helps make sure every young athlete can reach their potential.”
The influence of athletics on students’ academic success is undeniable: 80% of student athletes graduate college (versus 63% of non-athletes), thanks in large part to the commitment and dedication they learn through participating in team sports.
“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift of sports equipment for the four million young people we serve,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of America Vice President Frank Sanchez. “As a former Boys & Girls Club member, I know how much it means to step onto the playing field without being embarrassed because you don’t have the best bats, balls, and gloves.”
The top teams will receive prizes including $500 college scholarships for outstanding individual participants, a skype chat with Lindsey Vonn, and tickets to a major sporting event.
“Being involved in sports was one of the best parts of growing up,” says Aria Finger, COO of DoSomething.org. “Now that I’m an ‘old person,’ I’m psyched that teens nationwide are rallying together to help their peers enjoy the sports that they love.”
To view Lindsey Vonn’s PSA and get involved visit giveyourgear.org.