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  • Sports charities

    My dad told me a few years ago that from here on out he doesn't want any birthday/Christmas/etc gifts, we should just find new charities to donate to instead. I have a few standbys for him but also like to mix it up. His birthday is coming up, and he has always loved sports, especially basketball, so I'm trying to find a charity with a basketball theme--I'm thinking helping underprivileged children with after school basketball programs etc. Any suggestions of sports themed charities that you know have a good reputation/do good work?

  • #2
    Do you live in the same community as your dad? Local rec centers/YMCA/schools/parks are always in need of new equipment and whatnot. Get a bench or something named for him.

    Or just tell him you donated to the human fund. :-P


    • #3
      Depending on his favorite team/coach, many teams have their own charities that can serve multiple purposes.


      • #4
        Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t think underprivileged kids need help finding the basketball court. If anything they need to get off the court and find the library.

        How about the special olympics?


        • #5
          I hesitate to post this, because I'm not sure on your stance regarding faith:

          They're in 84 countries. 88K+ camp attendees (underprivileged or troubled) I actually went to basketball events they sponsor for charity collection. This YouTube phenomenon called the professor was the main attraction at the very entertaining basketball game. He was personally a troubled gang member before turning his life around. They have professional athlete guest speakers for these kids, including names like Tim Tebow.

          I know a higher up with them. The people that run the organization and organize the events I found to be of the utmost character.


          • #6
            FCA is based on a strong religious theme. However, they use athletics as a means to encourage athletes to develop meaningful values and lives.

            YMCA’s, Boys/Girls Clubs and summer parks programs.
            Youth level sports: stay at the recreation level (soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.). Fields and games take funds to operate. Stay away from select programs not because they are bad, they intentionally help a select few.


            • #7
              Thanks for the suggestions.  I donate to the boys & girls club in his city and to the program he used to volunteer at, and will continue to do that--interested in adding a larger scale program to the mix (although also understand that $ may be better spent/go more where you want it to in smaller local programs).  I will look into FCA.  He is more religious than I am so may appreciate that.

              ENT doc, I'm not sure there's a right way to take your comment but I don't take offense.  I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who feel the same way you do.  My dad was a volunteer coach for many years for basketball teams that couldn't find coaches--our local neighborhood summer league always had more than enough dads who wanted to volunteer, but the inner city neighborhoods had kids who wanted to play but not enough coaches, so he would volunteer for them.  They also needed funds for uniforms, ref fees, etc to play in the league.  Sure kids will find the courts but will they find adults who care about them and want to increase their confidence and give them guidance without these programs?  I know for a fact that the summer league and the volunteer coaches including my dad had a positive influence on some of these kids' lives.


              • #8
                You found your target. If it was important enough to donate his time, he should be thrilled with the same .
                Summer leagues range from pickups (red, blue,yellow, and green ) to some amazing matchups. Moses Malone and Olajuwon had some battles at Fonde Rec Center.

                Make sure your Dad gets to sit at the scorers table.
                Honorary Commissioner!


                • #9
                  Agree Anne, it's about far more than the asphalt or shiny wood floor court. I grew up in NYC. Courts were easy to find. What is difficult is the right attitude. Drug paraphernalia on the ground everywhere. Direction from an organization can make all the difference.

                  I wish I could be half the man your dad is. I was never athletic enough to be a coach. My volunteer work is currently limited to a church based medical clinic where I provide free services once a month and some missions trips as time permits. I don't feel it's enough, but I also serve on their board. Of course my wife and I provide financial support to multiple organizations, but donating your time like your dad did goes a long way to saying you really care, as time is our most valuable asset.


                  • #10
                    We have this community center in our neck of the woods, and perhaps there is a similar one in your community.


                    A family friend was very active in this and sadly died of a GBM about 10 years ago. This is how we learned about it.

                    They take inner city kids and feed them and give them something constructive to do after school and in the evenings. It is centered around weightlifting, where they have had impressive results, but is is so much more.


                    • #11
                      “I was never athletic enough to be a coach.”
                      One does not need to be athletic to coach either team sports or individual sports. It simply requires knowledge and communication skills. Fear of failure and lack of preparation are the two traits anyone can teach. Then it’s how to be gratuitous in victory or defeat (sportsmanship). Preparation is the easy part, run faster, shoot better. Overcoming fear requires trust and credibility. Yes, kids learn to trust. A very valuable life skill.


                      • #12
                        Anne, we likely agree that mentorship and role models are significant deficiencies in the communities mentioned. My suggestion to not take my comment the wrong way was to not be offended by the suggestion that the marginal impact of a mentor steering them in the academic direction is more impactful than one on the court. And since you didn’t take offense you then took it the right way. For the record, I applaud any efforts to make a marginal impact in these kids’ lives.


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure your/his location, but typically there are adaptive sports leagues for children and adults with disabilities that could always use donations for equipment, space, etc.


                          • #14
                            your dad sounds awesome.  i hope my kids think of me the same way some day.   are you sure he doesn't want anything from you?  you couldn't take him to his favorite team and watch a game?  pro, college, high school, doesn't have to be expensive.

                            you mentioned in the past that they are hard to send on trips.  maybe you could find one meaningful to him to go with him on?

                            (i miss my dad every day, i wish i had found more time to connect).

                            good luck!