Dan Baroff, Staff Writer
In the fall of my junior year I spearheaded a sports equipment drive that collected gently used and new sports equipment for villages in Ghana, Africa. I had the chance to partner with the Adopt One Village organization that provided various resources to villages in this part of Africa. After attempting to contact programs throughout New Jersey to donate to in my freshman and sophomore year, my desire to start the drive was met with failure because many of the programs did not respond to the ideas I had in store. It was not until the summer of my sophomore year that I was lucky enough to get into contact with the AOV organization and develop a relationship with the founder, Emmanuel Anim-Sackley, better known as Baba. This partnership served to be very effective for the plans I had designed because I was able to send the equipment to Baba’s home village that was in need of these particular resources.
During the progression of my drive last year, I was asked several times why I started the drive and what inspired me to do so. I would respond by saying that my aspirations to provide equipment to others started in eighth grade when I noticed other school baseball teams were sharing equipment. This event intensified my desire to provide others with the equipment that I was fortunate to have. With the help of my guidance counselor, Mrs. Velelis, as well as Ms. Morin, I was able to put my ideas into action and make this drive very successful during my Junior year.
The AOV sports equipment drive juristically exceeded the expectations I had set, as I was able to collect equipment from GL and New Providence, as well as other communities including Summit, Bridgewater, and Readington. The sports equipment was sent to Ghana in July and it turned out to be very beneficial for the underprivileged children living in these impoverished areas. This year, I plan to start up the drive again in the fall, hoping to surpass the previous years’ amount of equipment collected. I am also hoping to extend the drive to communities in New Jersey that are in need of sports equipment.
Stay tuned for further announcements and flyers that will start to appear as the fall season approaches. I am very hopeful for the success of this years’ sports equipment drive and I hope the GL community, as well as other nearby communities, will also continue to support its success!