Charity Takes Shot at Donating 10,000 Basketballs to Philly Youth


Can basketballs better the lives of Philadelphia’s young people?

Local do-gooders think so, and they've begun a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of buying 10,000 basketballs for city kids.

“We want to initiate change in our city by promoting wide spread philanthropy and youth sports,” said a post on the Philadelphia Freedom Project’s “10,000 Basketballs for Philly Youth” generosity page. “Basketballs will be distributed by community/recreation centers, school teachers, at basketball courts, and through youth basketball leagues in Philadelphia.”

Organizer Michael Robinson, a Northeast Philly native now living in Northern Liberties, said the goal could have been smaller -- say, 1,000 balls -- but he hoped to entice a philanthropist with charitable intentions to influence city youth sports on a broad scale.

"We went for the impossible, hoping that some angel investor might come along, some miracle that would help us do the impossible," said Robinson, a social worker who founded a nonprofit called the Philadelphia Freedom Project.

Robinson said the sports company Spalding gave him a great quote for the enormous number of indoor/outdoor basketballs: $11 a ball, which translates to $110,000. The $11 price tag is a steep discount from the prices for the same type of Spalding TF-250 ball online.

"We didn't want to get cheap balls. We wanted good ones for the kids," Robinson said.

The project has raised $710 as of Thursday.

The Philadelphia Freedom Project describes itself on its Facebook page as “a small group of dedicated individuals working to improve our community.” They meet weekly to serve hot meals in Center City.

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