Shanon Jackson is an athletic mom of five, and the only thing that really bothered her was that one kid didn’t have the equipment he needed to compete.
“When we were kids, we didn’t have a lot of money,” Jackson recalled.
Jackson has experienced firsthand how lack of money can keep kids out of sports.
“You can get into this sport, you can try this sport, but if you don’t have the equipment, you can’t participate,” Jackson said.
Now a trainer, Jackson has started seeing the same signs she saw as a child.
“I’m over our youthful cheer from Guthrie, I noticed that some of our girls actually needed cheer shoes, so I kind of started collecting used cheer shoes for our girls “Jackson said.
She then noticed that the problem was in all sports.
“I decided to start collecting more football and baseball gear and kind of give away what we had left of our own kids,” Jackson said.
She has started using her “She shed” as she calls it, cleaning and disinfecting used equipment for deserving children to play sports.
“I literally scrub mud, gum and all sorts of stuff from the bottom of cleats and such. I go out here with a wire brush and use lots of cleaner, air freshener and disinfectant to clean them and get them looking as good as possible for the next child,” Jackson said.
Today, a year later, the foundation is having a real impact.
“I have a lot of single moms trying to raise, one to two or three kids and they’re all into sports and you know they can’t afford the equipment,” Jackson said.
She posts the equipment she has on her Facebook page, prompting other parents to donate as well.
“Oh my God, the people who have it are so willing to donate all the gear that they collected themselves,” Jackson said.
Jackson saw how kids in sports generally maintain their grades and understand responsibility to the team and intend to grow outside of sports.
“My goal is to have a bigger shed and be able to transport instruments like bands for kids who need them from middle school through high school,” Jackson said.
If you need sports equipment or want to donate, you can reach her through her Facebook page at Lets Play It 4ward.