Although it hasn’t quite felt like it this week, spring is around the corner and those who uncover sports apparel and equipment during spring cleaning can donate it to a good cause.
A Columbus Youth Sports and Activities Equipment and Apparel Drive is taking place until March 9. Presented by the 2021-2022 Leadership Columbus Class, the drive is accepting gently used sports equipment and apparel of all kinds and for all activities – uniforms, shoes, helmets, bats, gloves, etc. The items must be in good, usable condition.
The gear will be given to families that may not have the resources to purchase sports apparel and/or equipment, the cost of which can add up very quickly.
“We have a lot of great donations so far,” said Shelley Stempek, a Leadership Columbus member. “A lot of them right now seem to be geared more towards the summer sports — the baseball, the T-ball. I do have some volleyball but I haven’t seen many wrestling shoes or dance leotards, shoes.”
Donations are being accepted at Agri-City Insurance, 2457 33rd Ave. Suite E, and Pinnacle Bank East, 210 E. 23rd St. Monetary donations are also being accepted to help purchase new equipment that someone may need that wasn’t donated.
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Stempek noted a similar drive had previously been held in Columbus but, when she discovered that it was no longer taking place, Leadership Columbus members decided to hold a drive.
“There’s so many people that have them (sports gear) sitting around, why not share those with others that could get use out of them and able to participate in the activities that everyone else gets to participate in,” Stempek said. “I wouldn’t want that to be something that kept somebody from participating.”
Families in need of the sports items can pick them up during the City of Columbus’ activities sign-up day being held from 9-11 a.m. on March 12 at 1C | The Sanctuary, 2200 28th Ave. Items will be free and available on a first come, first serve basis.
Columbus Parks and Recreation Coordinator Betsy Eckhardt said the drive is a good way to get rid of old gear that is collecting dust in people’s homes.
“This gives parents the opportunity to come to the youth sports and activities sign-up day and get gently used gear for their kids,” Eckhardt said. “Speaking from my own experience, I have bats, gloves and softballs that are barely used that can go to a family that will utilize them all summer long.”
People with questions or wanting to set up a different time to pick up the sports items can contact Stempek at 402-276-3427.
Stempek said that they are still needing other seasonal sports gear and apparel. Stempek said she is hoping that people unearth used sport equipment while doing their annual cleaning.
“It’s still cold outside so they haven’t hit total spring fever but hopefully they get some of that spring cleaning done and people want to donate,” she said.
“We have so many people in our community that are so giving and that want to help out. I think they just don’t know until they see it’s available.”
Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at [email protected]