Our mission is simple, and can be broken down into three main points:
1) Get kids off the streets, and into sports
It may sound cliche, but the reality is that many kids in Santa Barbara live with parents who work long hours, and these kids are left to entertain themselves in their down time. The problem with this is that many times when kids are left to look after themselves, they can be misled and end up with the “wrong crowd”. Again, this is the reality, and the proof can be seen simply by going to a newspaper and reading of yet another gang shooting: this is one of the biggest problems facing Santa Barbara at the moment, and we want to do everything we can to stop it.
The reason some kids may turn to gangs, drugs, or violence is because they simply don’t have anything else. Many schools do not offer significant extra curricular activities, and families are forced to pay for either admission into a pricey sports program, or for balls, bats, jerseys, and other extremely costly equipment which they just cannot afford.
The Sports Drive offers solutions to these problems, not only by providing kids with equipment necessary to play sports outside of school, but also by allowing low income families to sign their kids up for memberships at Boys and Girls Clubs through our Scholarship Program…
2) Introduce kids to the Boys & Girls Clubs
The Sports Drive has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs to provide kids with the maximum amount of opportunities available. When kids attend the Sports Drive Event, they have the opportunity to pick out whatever sports equipment they need to play their favorite sport for free, but now they also have the opportunity to sign up for a free, 1 year membership to the Boys and Girls Club through our Scholarship Program.
This is an incredible opportunity for kids in any community as they now are able to come to the Boys and Girls Club whenever they like to play with friends, engage in exciting activities, or even get tutoring help if they want. And in addition to this incredible program, following the Sports Drive event, they can play any sport they like, even when they are not at the Boys and Girls Club.
3) Recycle used sports equipment and clothing
Its not mystery to anyone, in the current state of the world, that we waste too much stuff. One, often overlooked, part of this is the amount of used sports equipment/clothing that gets tossed in the trash to be replaced by new gear. One might think that its not a big deal, a family will buy a new basketball, and then the old one will get tossed in the garage, only to be thrown away years later.. but the important part of the story lies with the child who sits alone and bored or turns to gangs because he or she cannot pay for a new basketball.
It is astounding how few places there are that allow people to buy used sports equipment, and we have found this to be a much bigger problem then anyone seems to understand.