Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been a burden to everyone, Denver showed its strength as community members donated sporting goods at the 9th annual giveSPORTS Equipment Drive, presented by Brannan Companies last week. The drive, hosted by Kroenke Sports Charities and which benefited A Precious Child, collects thousands of pieces of equipment annually and distributes them back to children and families who would otherwise not be able to afford the gear.
This year, enough gear was donated to fill up a 53-foot semi truck. Nearly 50 agencies from around Denver took more than 5,000 pounds of sports equipment back for their use in schools, enrichment programs and much more. In a time where many are spending extended time at home, access to sports equipment to get kids outside and engaged has never been more necessary. Hockey sticks, basketballs, soccer cleats and lacrosse pads were included in this year’s haul, ensuring that community youth will have elevated access to a wide variety of sporting opportunities. In addition to physical donations, PatchMyPC.com matched monetary donations and helped raise $19,024 in sports scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of the Colorado community, 12,454 children will have a chance to get in the game.
With all this gear, it was helpful to have some strong hands unloading and sorting on site. Colorado Mammoth Mascot Wooly and members from the Wild Bunch spent the day emptying trunks, carrying boxes, and even trying out some of the goods.
A Precious Child’s giveSPORTS program was started by 12-year-old Dustin Martin in 2011. Knowing the powerful impact sports had on his own life, Martin sought to ensure all children, regardless of circumstance, had the opportunity to play sports.
The program’s first drive was held in memory of Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist and intern for Altitude Sports & Entertainment. She wanted to support children who were victims of Colorado’s 2012 wildfires and replace any hockey equipment that they had lost. Jessica was never able to take part in the inaugural drive as she lost her life in the Aurora Theater tragedy.
Together, Kroenke Sports Charities and A Precious Child have combined efforts to fulfill both Jessica and Dustin’s dreams with eight community-wide equipment drives to help put a kid in the game. Since its inception, the giveSPORTS Equipment Drive has collected over 200,000 pieces of sports equipment and more than $100,000 in sports scholarships to benefit more than 49,000-plus local kids in need and counting.
A Precious Child will continue to accept items. More information can be found at APreciousChild.org.