Although it hasn’t really been felt this week, spring is just around the corner and those who find sportswear and gear during spring cleaning can donate it to a worthy cause.
A drive for equipment and apparel for Columbus youth sports and activities is taking place through March 9. Presented by the 2021-2022 Columbus Leadership Class, the collection accepts gently used athletic gear and apparel of all kinds and for all activities – uniforms, shoes, helmets, bats, gloves, and more. Items must be in good used condition.
Equipment will be donated to families who may not have the resources to purchase clothing and/or sports equipment, the cost of which can add up very quickly.
“We have a lot of great gifts so far,” said Leadership Columbus member Shelley Stempek. “A lot of them seem to be geared more towards summer sports right now – baseball, T-ball. I have volleyball but haven’t seen a lot of wrestling shoes or dance leotards , shoes.
Donations are accepted at Agri-City Insurance, 2457 33rd Ave. Suite E, and Pinnacle Bank East, 210 E. 23rd St. Monetary donations are also accepted to help purchase new equipment that someone may need that has not been donated.
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Stempek noted that a similar campaign had previously taken place in Columbus but, when she discovered it was no longer taking place, members of Leadership Columbus decided to organize a campaign.
“There are so many people who have them (sports equipment) sitting down, why not share them with others who could use them and participate in the activities that everyone can participate in,” Stempek said. “I wouldn’t want it to be something that prevents anyone from participating.”
Families in need of sporting goods can pick them up at the City of Columbus Activity Registration Day 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-served basis.
Columbus Parks and Recreation Coordinator Betsy Eckhardt said driving is a good way to get rid of old gear gathering dust in people’s homes.
“It gives parents the opportunity to come to the youth sports and activities registration day and get some lightly used gear for their kids,” Eckhardt said. “Speaking from my own experience, I have barely used bats, gloves and softballs that can go to a family that will use them all summer.”
People with questions or wanting to schedule a different time to pick up sporting goods can contact Stempek at 402-276-3427.
Stempek said they still need more seasonal sports gear and apparel. Stempek said she hopes people will unearth used sports equipment during their annual cleanup.
“It’s still cold outside, so they haven’t hit full spring fever, but hopefully they’ll do some of this spring cleaning and people will want to donate,” she said. .
“We have so many people in our community who are so generous and want to help. I think they just don’t know until they see it’s available.
Hannah Schrodt is the editor of the Columbus Telegram. Contact her by email at [email protected]