Being able to participate in sports makes a huge difference in the life of a child. Sports improve kids' physical, emotional, and social health. It helps them build trusting, respectful relationships and provides fun! Make sure all the kids in your community have the opportunity to play.
Here's what you're doing:
Collecting used sports equipment to donate to a local shelter or after-school program.
Here's what you need:
* Flyers and posters
* Collection boxes
Here's how you do it!
- Research the agencies in your community that you think could use or distribute the equipment. Try your local shelter, social or youth services, your recreation or parks department or a community center, or after-school program. Call the police department to see if they have a program that works with youth.
- Make flyers and posters explaining your project (decorating posters is a great way to involve your youngest kids). Note the dates, time and location where you will collect the items. Put an article in your organization's newsletter and local newspaper.
- Notify the leagues and sports associations in your community that you will be holding a Team Up Sports Equipment Collection, collecting items such as: balls, bats, baseball gloves, batting helmets, cleats, shin guards, lacrosse and hockey sticks and helmets and jump ropes. A great opportunity to do a Team Up collection is at one of their games.
- Sort through the equipment. Make sure it is in good shape for another child to use. It should not be too dirty or have any broken parts.
- Deliver the equipment.
- Play ball! Have your kids bring friends and try to set up a game or a picnic with the kids who are receiving your donations. Mix the teams - put some of your kids and their friends on each team.
Research has shown that sports reduce anxiety and depression and enhance self-esteem. Sports help kids gain skills that are important to their success in school and life: critical thinking, problem solving, self-discipline, leadership, and coping skills. Sports also help kids build trust and respect for others. A lot of kids don't have access to basic sports equipment so they are missing out on these important benefits!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teens should be "physically active for at least 60 minutes per day." Exercise builds strong self-esteem, decreases anxiety and depression and gives kids more energy.
What did you enjoy most about this project?
How do you think kids will feel when they get to play with the equipment?