Buhler Recreation Park is spearheading an effort to get sports equipment into the hands of kids who need it.
Facility manager Steve Mymko started up the North-East Kids in Need drive with help from area councillors Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan), and Russ Wyatt (Transcona), as well as Elmwood-Transcona MP Lawrence Toet.
Mymko said he is seeking new or gently-used equipment from any sport for the drive.
"It could be soccer cleats, it could be golf clubs, baseballs, soccer balls, soccer equipment, hockey equipment — it doesn’t matter," Mymko said, noting the drive doesn’t have a set figure for how much it expects to receive. "We know that the people in the northeast part of Winnipeg always rise to the occasion to help their own, so we’re counting on their support."
Mymko, who has volunteered with Christmas Cheer Board, has seen the need in the area, and figured the park had a chance to be at the centre of a movement.
"With us, having a park, we’d act as a good place to have a depot," he said. "It goes along with our business statement of being part of the community."
Mymko said the involved politicians have been in contact with local organizations, and will help to determine where the equipment will best be distributed. He noted a large influx of the equipment will go to the Clara Hughes Recreation Centre in Elmwood.
In addition to the park, located at 135 Murdock Rd., other drop-off sites include the Transcona Nationals clubhouse (875 McMeans Ave. E.), Toet’s office (127 Regent Ave. W.), Guertin Equipment (35 Melnick Rd.), and Transcona Centennial Square during the Transcona BIZ Farmers’ Market (held every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Equipment will be collected until Sept. 21.
Mymko said local businesses interested in becoming a drop-off site can contact him at the park at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-777-2255.
As well, he said individuals or organizations looking to make a bulk donation can contact the park to arrange for a truck to pick it up. He said equipment should be ready to go if a pick-up is requested.
"People have got to realize that we are volunteers, too, and we’re not there to clean anybody’s basements or garages," he said.