As Partnerships Assistants at Good Sports, our team travels all around the United States executing all sorts of donation events. No two are ever quite the same: the equipment, the volunteers, and partners are always changing. Despite this, we have a near-unanimous favorite part of any event we host: the kids.

While we love working with our volunteers at these events, the best part is seeing the faces of those kids when they rip open a box of new equipment that they get to play with for the very first time. We constantly hear how the kids we serve have never seen a new basketball, or a football still in its box. These events are a huge deal to them. Watching their faces light up when they pull out that equipment makes every mile, every phone call, and every long day worth it.

When we say that they rip open the boxes, we mean it quite literally. These kids do whatever it takes to get that equipment out as soon as possible. Whether it is an item they have seen before and love, or it is something they are completely unfamiliar with, their reaction is always the same. After their faces light up as they examine their new equipment, they immediately turn to the nearest adult and ask, “Can we play with it? Will you play with me?”

That’s how we know these events matter. Play is a right that all kids should have access to, not a privilege. Through our partnerships and events, we get the chance to bring play to so many deserving kids.  Many of these kids don’t have consistent access to things like basketballs, mouth guards or even sneakers. Kids that play are happier, healthier, and do better in all aspects of life. We will keep traveling, working, sweating, and smiling, so we can help kids rip into boxes of new equipment and get playing!