Greenwich’s YES Club delivers reclaimed sports gear to local groups
GREENWICH — The Greenwich High School YES Club collected 2,502 pieces of lightly-used sports equipment in a two-week drive and donated it to 10 local charities in need.
On Monday, club members completed one the last donations, handing off lacrosse sticks and balls, cleats, rugby balls and other items to Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse coaches.
“There is so much need around here that no one really addresses,” said Romano Orlando, a co-president of the club. “To give those people equipment, which I what I can do to help them, feels huge.”
This year, the five-year-old club donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Family Centers, Kids in Crisis, Greenwich Roller Skating Club, Dream (formerly Harlem RBI) baseball organization, Grassroots Tennis of Norwalk and The First Tee golf organization.
“Ten kids were outfitted with everything from lacrosse sticks to soccer balls and hockey gear,” said Bill Brucker, vice president of Family Centers. Family Centers donated the YES Club equipment to children who live in Stamford public housing and use their community and supportive services program. “It was a real great opportunity to outfit these kids with sports equipment that they might not have been able to afford otherwise.”
Students in YES — which stands for Youth Equipment Sharing — say their donations differ from those of other charities because they cater to what local nonprofits need.
“We really try to direct our equipment to places that really need it,” said Greg Goldstein, a co-president of the club.
After gathering the sports equipment in a drive in early February, Birdie’s Auto Spa in Rye, N.Y., sanitized the equipment for free. It was stored at the Greenwich Armory, owned by H.B. Nitkin, for two to three months as it was being systematically distributed.
YES Club offered local nonprofits and sports groups a list of the collected equipment and let the organizations choose what kind of balls, bats, sticks and shoes they needed. Club members then coordinated deliveries to deliver the sports equipment to its new home.
“A lot time this equipment just ends up sitting in your basement or something like that, and when we came across this idea to give it away rather than just hoard it for ourselves, that just seemed like a great idea and thing to be a part of,” club member Charlie Zeeve said.
Brucker applauded the student’s efforts.
“It’s really great to have partners with the YES Club to provide us with the ability to further help our clients,” he said. “It’s really tremendous to see a group of young people to take an active interest in their community.”
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