Leveling The Playing Field
Go to any sporting goods store and just one quality piece of required equipment for any sport could run more than several hundred dollars. The price is more than some families can afford leaving the kids unable to play.
Max Levitt is working on reducing those numbers. As the equipment manager for the Syracuse University football team from 2007 to 2011, he would see gear used and then discarded after only a brief use.
In 2013, he founded Leveling the Playing Field — a nonprofit that collects donated used and excess sporting equipment to give to programs and schools serving underprivileged children.
“Our donations allows programs to allocate funds saved by lowering registration fees, expanding their scholarship programs, enhancing their existing athletic program and/or developing new ones,” he said.
Students born into poverty may struggle to avoid negative influences that enter their lives both after school and during the summer break. Youth sports offers a positive atmosphere for kids to participate in yet the cost for low-income families is usually too great.
In four years, the Silver Spring-based organization has donated over $2 million worth of sporting equipment to over 400 local programs. Baltimore has been one of the biggest recipients, with more than 50 programs receiving over $300,000 in gear.
“The overall growth in both impact and brand has been incredibly satisfying on a professional level because it shows the power of this mission,” Levitt said.