Getting involved in sports can be expensive for many families as many require the player to buy equipment.
This extends to baseball, where players often need their own gear such as cleats and gloves.
One Lake Washington High student is trying to lend a hand to new players by collecting used equipment to distribute to Redmond West Little League players.
Nick Whiting is a junior who used to play in Little League and hopes to provide a bit of assistance to the younger generation.
“If your equipment’s not all there, if you’re missing anything, or it’s not up to quality… there’s definitely a lack in play, which I think is unfair to kids who don’t have the right equipment,” Whiting said.
Whiting said he was a six-time Little League all-star for Redmond West and wanted to find a way to give back to the community.
He’s collected equipment from family and friends and was able to donate it to players.
Whiting has been collecting cleats, mitts and pants, which have been given out to families that need them.
It’s not just local players that will benefit from his donations, either.
Whiting contacted Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB), a nonprofit that sends donated equipment to baseball teams outside of the U.S.
Whiting said Little League changed its regulations on bats recently to create a more standardized set of requirements.
This year is the first the rule is in effect, which means many bats that were previously used are no longer allowed.
He decided to approach PIFB about collecting bats to donate.
“It’d be a perfect time to donate, trying to get rid of all the old stuff that can’t be used,” he said.
The response so far has been great with around 200 bats being donated.
Some 80 bats came from the community and Redmond West donated another 120 bats that will be sent to PIFB.
“They said they’ll take them and find places for them overseas,” Whiting said.
This is the first year Whiting has run a donation exchange and he hopes to continue it in his senior year.
After that, he wants to see a younger player take over the program.
“My plan for this is to make it formal,” he said.
The idea to make an exchange came from an informal system kids in his neighborhood had where older players handed down their old equipment to younger players.
The next opportunity players will have to check out the equipment exchange will be this Friday night from 5-8 p.m. at the Redmond High commons.
Little League families will be at the high school to find out what teams they will be placed on and Whiting will be accepting gear donations.
After this event, Whiting will be shipping bats to PIFB’s Los Angeles office and take a break before starting collections again next November.
For more information on how to donate, Whiting can be reached at Turn2forRWLL@gmail.com