By Paul Silverfarb
Lately, even the simplest things seem like such a big ordeal. Classes are being taught remotely, jobs have been furloughed or lost, businesses are shuttering, and just interacting with people brings on high anxiety.
But Christopher Cataldo, John Cataldo and Jack Cook, all juniors and athletes at Greenwich High School, are looking to make things just a little bit easier for people throughout the Greenwich area during these trying times.
That’s where the idea of Sports Give Back came into play and all three knew that after 18 months of planning, now is the perfect time to launch this online platform.
“I think we all feel paralyzed these days, not being able to play the sports we love so much,” said Cook. “Sports Give Back gives us the opportunity to do something productive and feel better about these difficult times.”
Sports Give Back, launched earlier this month, is raising funds for local charities, all the while providing a mechanism for people to purchase new and gently used sports equipment at low prices.
“Given the global pandemic, it is extremely important to do this for our community,” said Chris Cataldo. “By collecting this old, used sports equipment we are able to turn that into donations to local charities that are struggling during this time.”
The trio of GHS students couldn’t have made it easier to get the ball rolling. Simply log onto http://sportsgiveback.org and either donate or email email@example.com to donate or purchase sports equipment.
We’ve all literally outgrown our equipment many times over during the last few years,” said Cook. “Our own extra equipment sparked the idea. From this we starting asking friends and neighbors if they had equipment they wanted to donate. The business grew organically from there.”
John Cataldo said that over the past couple of years, the trio realized the sheer volume of sports gear that is just sitting around garages and basements throughout Greenwich.
“We then held many meetings to discuss how we can put this unwanted or unneeded gear to good use,” said John Cataldo. “After many lengthy discussions, we decided that we could sell this gear on an application called SideLine Swap. With the money made from this gear, we would then donate it to different charities in Greenwich.”
On the Sports Give Back website, people can request a pickup for locally donated sports equipment. They can also inquire about equipment for sale, and to donate money to the cause. All the money collected helps support local community nonprofits that do good in Greenwich.
With Greenwich being such a diverse community, Chris Cataldo said that himself and his business partners realized that there are many families in dire need of living necessities.
“At the same time there are many households that have too much stuff, particularly sports equipment,” he said. “So we thought the best way to combine both these facts was to create a foundation that turns used sports equipment into meaningful donations to various charities.”
And already Sports Give Back is giving back to the Greenwich community. In light of COVID-19, they have donated $1000 to Neighbor to Neighbor to help expand its food pantry and its ability to provide groceries to residents during this time of insecurity. The money was raised by selling an astounding 200 pieces of equipment, including lacrosse helmets, lacrosse shafts, hockey helmets, hockey sticks, and cleats.
“It is definitely rewarding to see people donating to this cause,” John Cataldo said. “We have put a lot of time into the development of this foundation and this idea. When seeing people donating, it gives us a feeling that our hard work has paid off. We have successfully given people an outlet to give back to their local communities.”
“We love spreading the word, and getting people involved,” said Cook. “It’s great to be able to tell people that even a simple donation like a gently used lacrosse stick can make a real difference.”