Friday, June 8, 2012

Sports cards help to uplift children

This week, we get advice from Mitchell Kennedy, a ninth grader at West Forsyth High School, who created a charity called Sports Cards for Kids. The charity aims to provides children at Levine and Brenner Children's Hospitals, and Boys & Girls Clubs with sports cards.

When did you first create Sports Cards for Kids? I created Sports Cards for Kids in October 2011. I had some extra cards and told my mom to give them to someone she knew that did not have a lot and she told me one day that the child that got them still had one of the cards by his bedside. So I thought that I could make this a big thing and give cards to a lot of kids.

Why sports cards? Actually the kids like football and basketball cards the best...I know that kids love sports of all kinds and they love to get a card of their favorite player and to collect cards of their favorite teams.

How many cards have you donated to Levine and Brenner Children's Hospitals? I have donated about 1,400 cards to those hospitals, but I have donated about 12,000 cards to the Boys & Girls Club on my monthly trips. I have contacted Duke and Chapel Hill hospitals and have plans for making trips there this summer.

How can people in the community donate to your cause? The community can donate cards or money. Sports Cards for Kids is an official 501(c)(3) charity and can provide tax deductions.

What has been most rewarding for you while working on this project? The most rewarding thing is seeing the reaction on the kids' faces and being able to make them very happy.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned? That you should always try and give back to your community. Also, if you have managed to make one child smile then your day was a success.

What is your fondest memory of donating cards? Two of my best stories are when I gave this kid a card autographed by Armanti Edwards he took the cards back to his desk and said "Does anyone want to trade?" Almost every kid around him said yes and he responded with "Psych!" The other one is when I gave a child a card that contained a piece of game-used jersey. I left the room and came back 10 minutes later and he still had the card in his hand feeling the piece of jersey.

Learn more about Sports Cards for Kids at Facebook.
Photo: Mitchell Kennedy (blue shirt) passes out sports cards to children at the Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club. Photo courtesy of Mitchell Kennedy.