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First Annual Connecting Kids Used Equipment Drive

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United Way is kicking off their first annual "Connecting Kids Used Equipment Drive."

It's a way for young athletes to give back so others who can't afford equipment have an opportunity to get involved regardless.

Staff and volunteers from United Way set up shop at Scheel's this morning with one goal in mind.

Ben Stevens says, "Donate to kids who can't afford it so they can play sports."

Last year the Connecting Kids program helped over 850 kids in the area.

Karie Lauwagie says, "The purpose is to bring people who in a financial need together and connect them with resources."

Today they are looking to fill these bins with gently used youth sports equipment including soccer shoes, jerseys, and baseball gloves shin pads and roller blades. Another added incentive, the first 100 families who donated received a $5 gift card from Scheels.
 
Assistant Store Leader, Brandon Kundsvig says, "It's a great way for Scheels to partner with the community. We donate 10 percent of our profits to local donations and united way it a big part of that, especially through this sports giveaway it's a great cause."

Since this is only their first year, organizers are hoping it continues to grow because they recognize the benefits of getting kids involved in youth activities.

Lauwagie says, "The team bonding that they have and growth from being active is priceless."

Connecting Kids Used Equipment Drive goes until 7p.m. at Scheels. The 3rd annual South Central MN Project Community Connect will take place on March 26th from 11-4 at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato.