As we reflect on 2014 and launch into 2015 with a new website, new blog, and new goals, we are reminded of milestones. People often measure success by celebrating landmark achievements, and making your first million is a huge one. It is a moment often commemorated by framing that first $1 bill, giving a car to the one millionth customer, or throwing an unforgettable party to share the news. But what does it really mean, and why is it so significant? At Good Sports, it is so much more than a milestone.

Eleven years ago, Good Sports was a small group of dedicated people on a mission: To help kids gain access to sports. We had no partners, no resources, and no track record. Frankly, there was no reason for anyone else to believe in our dream. But, we had passion. We passionately believed that every child should have the opportunity to play, no matter the cost. We believed that being active was critical to childhood development and that it is a right, and not a privilege. And we confidently believed we had a way to help make that possible…

With 500 basketballs.

While we had our fair share of skeptics and naysayers, and folks that wouldn’t give us a chance because we had not yet proven ourselves, a small group saw Good Sports’ potential. They helped us raise $8,000 at our first event. With only 500 basketballs, we were able to serve 2,000 kids through a handful of Boston organizations. And just like that, our dream was a reality.

Today, Good Sports celebrates its incredible success, turning 500 basketballs into $12 million in equipment. That $8,000 event has transformed into an organization that employs over a dozen passionate and talented people. Most importantly, in the fall of 2014, Good Sports donated equipment to its one millionth kid.

One million kids and counting. Given our pace of growth, in 2015, we plan to reach an additional 500,000 kids across the country.

The magnitude of what Good Sports has accomplished overshadows everything we could have hoped for this organization. Daily we are overwhelmed with pride and emotion, but more than anything, we are humbled. The realization that so many people have given their time, resources, and voices to Good Sports fills us with gratitude.

We wish we could capture every moment someone helps us in our mission, be it the 6-year-old that sends Good Sports his birthday money, the volunteers that pack boxes in the warehouse, or the corporate champions that bring Good Sports to the national stage. There are surely more than a million acts of kindness that have brought Good Sports to where we are today.

Perhaps it is worth a new car or a celebration. But instead, we will make a promise: We pledge that Good Sports will forge ahead to help the next one million kids. That is better than any party we could ever have.

YOU can also help us reach that goal by donating here or contacting us about partnership and sponsorship opportunities.

All the best,

Melissa Harper, CEO and Christy Keswick, COO