I have always thought that sports is more than just a recreational or fitness activity. Considering the enormous audience passionate about sports, it can be used to largely benefit communities. So here is a story of how a young person uses sports to provide equal opportunities to the underserved.
Abby Bauer, 18, Long Valley, New Jersey believes that every poor child deserves to have access to recreational sports. Six years ago, with the help of NY Mets third baseman David Wright, Abby started a monthly children’s sports program at her local homeless shelter, which later became Teams for Kids Foundation. Abby believes that children from all social or economic backgrounds should be able to play the sport they like.
Growing up, Abby encountered many children that wanted to be involved in sports activities but were unable to take part due to family financial restrictions. Abby decided to take action and bring these kids into the game. She believes that sports shouldn’t be limited by financial inequality or social disparity.
Through direct mail solicitation, grant awards, and special events to raise money for the Teams for Kids Foundation, Abby raised over $10,000 to help make these kids’ dreams a reality.
Abby donated two grants to homeless shelters in New Jersey. She also created a partnership with the city of Newark by giving $5,000 to support kids playing recreational sports. Not only did she dedicate funds to support kids already playing sports, she also raised awareness on the importance and benefits of doing so. Projects implemented by Abby have had a visible positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth in New Jersey.
Different businesses in New Jersey have recently contributed to Abby’s ideas. Morris United Soccer sponsored Teams for Kids day, which raised over $1,000. Last year, Abby worked closely with the recreation department in Morristown to raise awareness as well as funds for her foundation. Abby was able to involve companies like AT&T, M&M Mars, and Masserati in her campaigns and project implementation.
Abby’s Foundation grants cover the cost of registration fees, equipment and sports team apparel. In doing so, Abby enables all kids to play recreational sports, boosts their self-esteem and level of happiness, and gives them hope for future success.