Drive for Sports Equipment

Sydney Salamy, a junior at East Hampton High School, is looking for gently used sports equipment and clothing as part of her mission to ensure that students don’t “miss out on playing a school sport simply because they can’t afford it.” That is, afford to buy the often expensive equipment and apparel required to participate. 

Sydney, a student-athlete herself, has started a nonprofit, student-run charity at the high school called Play It Forward East Hampton, which is dedicated to helping underprivileged youths take part in sports regardless of the gear required.

The next collection for the cause will be on Monday, and students have been encouraged to take their unwanted or unused sports equipment and clothing to the high school’s main office, where a collection bin will be available. Sydney will facilitate the distribution of the donations to students in need across Long Island.

Among the items acceptable for donation are balls, shoes, tennis rackets, bats, and clothing for baseball, basketball, cross-country, field and ice hockey, football, golf, kickball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. In addition, protective gear such as gloves, goggles, shin guards, and shoulder and kneepads are also sought. Items not accepted include skis and ski boots, snowboards, bowling balls, and helmets.

“During our last drive, in November,” Sydney said, “donations of eight bags of equipment and clothing went to Chris Agostino, the director of athletics at Elmont Memorial High School, which consists of 99 percent minorities of whom 50 percent receive free or reduced lunches.”

Play It Forward East Hampton is a chapter of a national organization started in 2017 by a group of athletes from Keller High School in Texas and is a part of the Pro Players Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Sydney is looking forward to many students donating on Monday because, as she put it, “we hope to fill the gap between wanting to play and being a player.”