Sports Equipment Drive Hits It Out of the Park

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by David Presley

Nearly 1,000 children will play with hula hoops, balls, bats and bikes this summer because of United Way and we thought you’d like to know how it happened. United Way volunteers collected new and gently used sports equipment from great people like yourself. We then partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Caring For Children, Children First, Eliada and the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club to get the equipment in the hands of kids right away. Why collect sports equipment? According to the Buncombe County Health Department, 44% of our kids are considered overweight or obese. For too many families, paying for housing, utilities and food far outweigh the choice to purchase sports equipment. And afterschool and summer programs that serve low income kids often can’t update their equipment as often as needed.

In its first year, the Peaks Society's sports equipment drive was a huge success. Thanks to all the people who donated and sorted through the equipment, kids in Buncombe County will have a healthy summer – and keep those habits for life! In the two weeks we collected items, we received:

800+ golf balls 42 baseball bats
37 tennis, badminton, squash and racquetball racquets 36 basketballs
30 pairs of athletic shoes 27 playground balls and dodgeballs
22 baseball, bicycle and skateboard helmets 20 baseball and softball gloves
9 bicycles and much, much more!

Supplies are still coming in, too. The equipment went to five local organizations that run after school and summer programs as well as family outreach. That will help kids stay active and healthy through the summer and the school year.

Thanks to Mix 96.5, 105.9 The Mountain, Go Mini's, News 13 WLOS, the Asheville Tourists, Dick's Sporting Goods and Swannanoa Cleaners for sponsoring this important initiative. Also, thanks to all businesses that collected items and to UNC Asheville and Beverly-Hanks & Associates for serving as drop-off locations.

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