|The Carthage Caring Communities Coalition, supported by The Alliance of Southwest Missouri, is looking for contributions of new or gently used sports equipment for its new Full Potential Youth Sports Initiative. This initiative seeks to provide youth in the Carthage R-9 school district with equipment to assist them in participating and excelling in sports. A collection will take place on February 26, 2011, at Academy Sports, 1717 S. Range Line Rd., Joplin. Three additional drop-off locations in Carthage include Sports World, 2430 Grand Ave.; the Carthage YMCA, 2600 Grand Ave. and McDonald's, 1111 W. Central Ave.
Suggestions for donations include but are not limited to baseball bats and gloves; baseball, soccer and football cleats; wrestling show; football helmets and pads; protective gear for wrestling, baseball and soccer and balls of all types.
“It is our mission to enrich the lives of area youth by providing them with the opportunity to participate in youth sports,” said Marlissa Diggs, Drug Free Communities coordinator. “We believe that children who are involved in constructive activities outside of school from an early age are more likely to remain involved throughout high school and, therefore, more likely to refrain from destructive behaviors making graduation more attainable.”
Participants in the program will be determined either by referral from school administration, youth pastors and law enforcement, or through an application process based on financial need. Anyone who would like to be considered for the program should contact Diggs at (417) 358-3270 for an interview.
The Alliance of Southwest Missouri supports community anti-drug coalitions in the Carthage, Neosho and the Joplin areas. These coalitions, covering the geographical boundaries of the Neosho, Webb City, Joplin, Carthage and Carl Junction School Districts, seek to provide leadership, education and resources to prevent and address substance abuse and other unhealthy choices.