Cranford PD and Cranford PAL host donation drive

CRANFORD, NJ — Many kids from underserved households are not getting involved in athletics because of the high price of sports equipment. Leveling the Playing Field is a nonprofit that collects and redistributes equipment to expand access and equity within youth sports and recreation programs in under-resourced communities. LPF expanded to a third warehouse location in Philadelphia during fall 2021 to ensure that all kids in the Greater Philadelphia area can get off the sidelines.

LPF is collecting on Saturday Oct. 15, at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Ave., Cranford, from 9 a.m. to noon. Drive to the rear of the building and volunteers will unload the vehicle, or park and drop donations off in the lobby.

LPF accepts new and gently used sporting equipment donations to redistribute directly to children in need. Donations should be in safe, functional condition. Have a question about the gear condition? Contact LPF directly at info@levelingtheplayingfield.org.

LPF is collecting the following equipment.

• Baseball/softball: aluminum/wooden bats, bags, bases — rubber and soft, baseballs, catcher’s gear, cleats, gloves — batting and fielding, helmets — five years old or newer, pants, pitching/batting nets, pitching machines, softballs, T-ball sets, umpire gear, whiffle balls and whiffle bats.

• Basketball: basketballs, basketball shoes, basketball hoops/goals, mini basketballs and basketball shorts.

• Field hockey: balls, goggles, gloves, goalie gear and sticks.

• Football: flag football belts, footballs, football cleats, football gloves, football pads, football helmets – five years old or newer, and kicking tees.

• Golf: golf bags, golf balls and golf clubs.

• Hockey: bags, gloves, goalie equipment, helmets, hockey pucks, pads, shorts/pants, skates, socks and sticks — any type/size.

• Lacrosse: balls, plastic fiddle sticks, goals, goggles, gloves, helmets, pads and sticks.

• Playground/fitness: agility equipment, ball pumps, boxing/karate pads, cones, corn hole, first aid kits, free weights, frisbees, gymnastics equipment, hula hoops, jump ropes, ladder golf, kickballs, mouthguards in package, pinnies, playground balls, resistance bands, roller skates/blades – five years old or newer, swim equipment, weighted plates, whistles and yoga/fitness mats.

• Racket sports: ball hoppers, nets, tennis balls, tennis racquet covers, tennis racquets, badminton sets, pickleball sets and squash sets.

• Soccer: soccer balls, cleats, goalie gloves, goals, shinguards, socks and shorts.

• Volleyball: knee pads, nets and volleyballs.
The following items will not be accepted: bicycles, bicycle helmets, bicycle/skateboard elbow/knee pads, clothing, croquet sets, exercise machines, fishing gear, uncertified football helmets, hats, partial sets of uniforms, protective cups/jockstraps, racquetball equipment, scooters, skis and snowboards, trophies and used running shoes.

To learn more about LPF, visit levelingtheplayingfield.org or contact Detective John Rattigan at j-rattigan@cranfordnj.org or Lt. Matthew Nazzaro at m-nazzaro@cranfordnj.org.