Sports Gift is focused on providing sports to underprivileged children throughout the world and promoting sports related community service among our youth. Sports promote health and exercise, provide important life lessons in such things as goal setting, hard work, fair play and teamwork and give us a safe arena to experience the thrills and challenges of competition. Unfortunately, many children living in poverty will never have the opportunity to enjoy sports without the assistance of Sports Gift. We work to improve the lives and give hope to impoverished children through a variety of sports programs including the collection and donation of sports equipment. Sports Gift has distributed over one hundred forty thousand pieces of sports equipment to children all over the world including the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Indonesia and the South Pacific. We also offer community service programs to America's youth to increase their awareness of and compassion for underprivileged children who cannot afford to play sports. Through this effort, we seek to instill in our youth a lifelong commitment to and passion for community service.
Sports Gift had over 200 groups across the United States participate in our Collection Leader community service program in 2009. Under this program, a student or group organizes a collection of sports equipment in their community at a local school, sports team, league or club, religious event or other location to benefit impoverished children. Sports Gift equips these Collection Leaders with Sports Gift materials and resources to help them plan and organize their collection of sports equipment. It is very gratifying to hear the passion and energy our volunteers devoted to their community service projects and the impact their participation with Sports Gift has had in their lives and their commitment to help others through community service.
Sports Gift introduced its Service Team community service program in 2009 and it quickly became very popular to students and others in the Orange County area. Over 100 volunteers spent over 1,000 hours of community service time working at our Orange County facility helping us inventory, sort, organize, clean and prepare sports equipment for distribution to youth programs serving impoverished children around the world. The volunteers go through an orientation including a tour of our photo gallery of children around the world who benefit from the program so they can see firsthand the children they are serving with their participation in Sports Gift. We have had children as young as 8, middle and high school students, college students and young adults participate in our Service Team and they have collectively allowed us to process the growing volume of sports equipment we receive and distribute.
This overwhelming community involvement has translated into a fantastic year of growth for Sports Gift. We collected 36,217 items of sports equipment in 2009 from sources all over the United States covering a broad array of sports including soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, running and other sports. The dedication of our volunteers and the generosity of community members around the United States have allowed us to provide the gift of sports to over 28,000 children living in poverty. Sports Gift heads into 2010 with an inventory of 13,459 items of sports equipment to continue our giving.
Sports Gift In The Media
Sports Gift was honored to receive broad exposure through a variety of media sources this past year including Oprah Magazine, Readers Digest, Self Magazine to name a few where readers were exposed to our community service programs and how they can participate in Sports Gift to provide the gift of sports to impoverished children around the world. Sports Gift was also featured in the children's book A Glove of their Own, a heart warming story about how a group of children learn the value of helping others by sharing their old sports equipment.
Making A Healthier Planet
One of the founding principles of Sports Gift is to seek creative ways to reuse our resources to improve the lives of people suffering from poverty. Since our inception, our sports equipment collection and distribution program has resulted in the recycling of over 79,000 pounds of sports equipment significantly reducing the waste going into landfills and reducing the resources necessary to manufacture new equipment for the communities receiving our gift of sports equipment. We also seek to incorporate low impact (on the environment) processes in our operations. For example, we use recycled boxes to ship our equipment and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions to refurbish the sports equipment. We believe that caring for our planet is an important way we can care for others, including future generations.
During 2009, Sports Gift donated 29,795 items of sports equipment to youth programs serving impoverished children throughout the world. A geographic breakdown of our donations includes: 32% in Central and South America, 22% in Africa, 18% in the South Pacific and Indonesia, 13% in the United States, 12% in Mexico, and 3% in other parts of the world including India and the Middle East.
Donations to Sports Gift comprised over 19,000 pounds of sports equipment for a wide range of sports broken down by sports category as follows (measured by number of items): 44% soccer equipment, 19% baseball and softball equipment, 6% tennis equipment, 5% basketball equipment, 2% volleyball equipment, 2% running equipment, 7% coaching supplies, and 15% other sports equipment including football and general playground equipment.
We estimate that our gifts in 2009 benefited over 28,000 children in over twenty-seven countries around the world. The pages at the end of this report provide a summary of some of the gifts made in 2009, which we hope will give you a more personal perspective on the impact Sports Gift is making in the lives of impoverished children all over the world. The
stories we receive are truly amazing, both in terms of the challenges and hardships these children must overcome and the immense joy and appreciation they experience upon receiving the gift of sports.
S2S Nation is proud to support a wonderful charity like Sports Gift. If you want to read more information regarding Sports Gift please check out their website at http://www.sportsgift.org/.