Shoe drive helps young low-income athletes

Project organized by Open Gym Foundation

POSTED: 7:45 PM PST November 10, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

Many kids enjoy playing sports, but there are some in our community who can't afford it.

One local organization is trying to change that.

The Open Gym Foundation was created just six months ago by three locals.

Saturday, volunteers were out collecting new and used cleats for kids to use.

Their goal was 100 pairs, and a chance to get their name out there.

For one of the directors, Rich Peterson, who also coaches, he's disappointed when kids can't play because of money.

"I think the need is pretty acute right now, especially on the east side of bend, for people that need funds to play," Peterson said. "We feel that getting out and playing athletics is really an important part of a kid's life. We feel if we can help fund that, then we are doing something good for the community."

All athletic shoes were welcome, but they were focusing on cleats, since a lot of kids only wear them for one season and don't get much use.

Volunteers hope to have another shoe drive in the spring.

Those unable to make it to the shoe drive can also donate by logging onto their website: