Holiday Cheer and Gear drive connects kids in need with their new favorite sport

Posted at 6:16 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 10:18:05-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Christmas lists can look fairly similar depending on who’s making it out.

For kids, things like dolls, trucks, and video games are common requests of Santa. But more and more, kids are asking for equipment that can help them outside the house. That’s where ESPN Richmond’s Holiday Cheer and Gear comes in.

In its 17th year, the one-day drive encourages listeners to bring a new piece of sporting equipment to Lexus of Richmond on Midlothian where the Salvation Army of Central Virginia collects the donations to disperse among the 5,000 children they serve in Central Virginia.

“For our older kids, sometimes it’s a basketball that makes a difference,” said Captain Jason Burns, Area Commander of the Salvation Army of Central Virginia. “Something that gets them out of the house and engaged in community activities.”

This year’s event will start at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. on Friday, December 3, 2021.

It also may be an opportunity to introduce a child to a sport they might have never previously considered.

“People can give their passion,” Burns continued. “If they enjoy tennis, they can give tennis rackets. If they enjoy running, you’ve got running items. Lacrosse, badminton, pickleball, all these different types of sporting items can be donated and used by kids in our area.”

Bob Black and Matt Josephs will be broadcasting live from Lexus of Richmond between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday with updates on the day’s collection.

“It’s not only one of the biggest things we do each year, it’s one of the most important things we do each year,” Black said. “To be able to gather sporting equipment for underprivileged kids who don’t have footballs and basketballs and baseballs, things that we don’t think twice about. It can make their holiday season a little bit better.”

For more information on donating, visit their website.