Thanks to the support of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, more than 3,500 Little Leaguers® from nearly 400 local Little League® programs across the United States will have brand new equipment to use as they return to the field for the 2021 season.
In the fall of 2020, local Little League programs in need had the opportunity to apply for The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Equipment Grant Program, offering an essentials-only starter kit that provides under-resourced children the chance to play ball. This program continues to assist in Little League International’s strategic efforts to help make the game more affordable and accessible for all families and ensure every child has the opportunity to play baseball and softball.
“We know that many of our Little League families are facing challenging financial circumstances after this unprecedented past year, and that for many of them, purchasing equipment for their child can be very difficult,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “On behalf of Little League International and all of our Little League families across the nation, I would like to offer my thanks to The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation for offering these much needed equipment donation kits and helping us make sure every Little Leaguer has the opportunity to play baseball and softball.”
The kits, which were delivered to eligible local leagues and distributed to families in need through the support of Pitch In For Baseball and Softball in February and March 2021, included a helmet, a pair of batting gloves, a fielding glove, a baseball/softball, and a DICK’S Sporting Goods cinch bag, along with a letter addressed to the parent/guardian receiving it.
Last fall we teamed with @LittleLeague & @Dicks Foundation to provide equipment kits to Little League programs all over the country. The leagues are giving the kits to kids most in need of gear to help provide support to families. In January we sent out 3,560 kits to 366 leagues! pic.twitter.com/OTZZdMma48
— Pitch In For Baseball & Softball (@PIFBS) March 3, 2021
“We received a softball equipment kit for my daughter, which made me so excited. Times have been so tough, and I wanted her to play, but could not afford all the supplies,” said a mother from Holbrook (Mass.) Little League. “She was so excited for everything and cannot wait to play. Thank you so much for giving us this equipment donation.”
The equipment kit donations are only one of the many resources that The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation has provided to Little Leaguers since becoming an official Little League sponsor. In 2017, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation partnered with Little League for a five-year, $500,000 commitment, and since becoming the Official Sporting Goods Retailer of Little League, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation has provided grants and supported programs for more than 400 leagues, helping more than 22,000 youth athletes.
“The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation is proud to partner with Little League to provide equipment to youth baseball and softball athletes across the country to ensure they have the gear needed to stay on the field,” said Aimee Watters, Executive Director of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation.
In addition to the donated kits shipped out earlier this year, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation also teamed up with Little League during its Spring Giving Tour, providing a dozen local leagues with equipment donations as well as a chance to virtually meet with MLB and USA Softball players. With a total of 10,000 kids receiving the support of The Sports Matter Giving Truck this spring, here are the local Little League programs that participated, receiving more than 2,000 combined equipment kits for their Little Leaguers:
- Diamondback Little League (Phoenix, Ariz.)
- Interbay Little League (Tampa, Fla.)
- Ladera Little League (Los Angeles, Calif.)
- Milford Little League (Marietta, Ga.)
- North Houston (Texas) American
- Pinecrest Little League (Lithia, Fla.)
- Sheldon Little League (Houston, Texas)
- South Mountain Little League (Phoenix, Ariz.)
- Southeast LL (Houston, Texas)
- University East Little League (Charlotte, N.C.)
- West Tampa (Fla.) Little League
- Yellow Jackets LL (Tampa, Fla.)
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To learn more about the support of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, and all of Little League International’s Official Sponsors, visit LittleLeague.org/Sponsors.