By Eileen Majors
I love the signs of Spring including the time to watch the kids play baseball. The fun of Little League season brings many out to the ball field, and in the rural corners of Northern California, it’s a big event. From the parades highlighting the season openers to the picnics celebrating the kids’ accomplishments at season’s end, Little Leaguers are learning many things. They learn to be dedicated, to encourage each other, teamwork, and a respect for their peers and coaches.
What often goes unnoticed is that not every kid gets to play. The cost of sign-ups, let alone the cost of cleats and a glove, makes it impossible for some families to participate, especially when there are multiple kids in the family. Luckily, many youth sports organizations offer sponsorship programs and opportunities to donate. In my own community I found one could donate directly to some very worthy extra-curricular activities like a Free Breakfast Program, High School Sports and Arts & Music programs that offer assistance to kids who want to participate but may need financial assistance.
We spoke to Brittany Atkinson, President of Westwood Little League, who told us the board makes every effort to let kids play, whether their families can afford it or not. In fact, they raise hundreds of dollars per year to bring more players out to the ball game. A special fund has been created, but according to Brittany, raising enough funds to fill the needs and keep the program working, is always a struggle, and donations are greatly appreciated.
Westwood Unified School District Principal, Marci Johnson, said that donations can be made for helping kids play sports, or for specific programs such as music, arts or the free breakfast program. Donors can specify if they like, when making a donation. She added that someone had donated $1,000 which helped them bring back a modest music program for students.
Check out the many ways to help get kids involved in positive things. Look for great opportunities in your own community, or feel free to help ours.
Westwood Little League • PO Box 78, Westwood, CA 96137
Westwood Unified School District • PO Box 1015, Westwood, CA 96137