CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The weather is perfect right now for Spring cleaning, and if you have any sports gear you would like to get out of your garage or basement, you can donate those items to kids in need this week.
Until March 15th, you can drop off sports gear at Keybank Center, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. If there is a game happening at the arena, you can drop off items until the end of the game.
Those items will go to a warehouse in Clarence to be sorted, and then given to kids in need.
Thousands of football pads, lacrosse sticks, hockey skates, basketballs and more are piled high in Victory Sports’ warehouse. The non-profit was started by Doug Rifenburg in 2017.
“We have two young kids that play youth sports, and after years of them playing, we gather lots and lots of sports equipment around the house and always wonder what to do with it,” Rifenburg said.
Rifenburg knows the importance of play for kids. He grew up playing basketball, football and anything else he could get involved in. that could have been an influence by his dad: Dick Rifenburg. Dick Rifenburg played professional football and then became a familiar face and voice in Buffalo, broadcasting in the Queen City for more than 30 years.
Doug hopes to outfit kids with the chance to learn important life lessons.
“Our goal is to help these kids be in a program where they can learn about life lessons, and build character and teamwork, and respect for authority,” he said.
Victory Sports has outfitted entire school teams. The organization has also put duffel bags full of gear in the trunks of Buffalo Police cruisers, for officers to give away. They also hang basketballs on nets across the city, and more.
Just last year, the organization gave out more than 10,000 sports items to about 100 youth sports organizations. Rifenburg said most of the items they collect do stay in Buffalo, but some go to kids around the world.
And over the next week, again, you can help in the cause. For more information on the drive, click here.