A Great Little Gift That Helps Kids

As youth sports programs are cut back, this simple item makes a heathy difference

Youth sports programs are an incredible resource for kids, families, communities. But if funding runs short on any level, which it often does, these are some of the first activities to get cut.

Twenty-seven percent of U.S. public high schools may not have any sports programs by 2020 if projections by Up2Us Sports, a New York-based non-profit, hold true. Billions of dollars have been cut from school and community programs in recent years.

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The situation has DICK’S Sporting Goods, a leading sporting goods retailer, looking at innovative ways it might help — and the rest of us too. And it could be as simple as buying a pair of shoe strings.

DICK’s recently launched Sports Matter, a green shoelace movement to help fund youth sports. DICK’S and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation have pledged more than $50 million to support teams and raise awareness of this issue since 2014, and to date, have helped nearly 2,000 youth sports teams. The video above gives a glimpse into the difference sports and other programs can make in a child’s life.

The green shoelaces can be found at any DICK’S store nationwide or on — two dollars from every shoelace sale will go to the program. The retailer is also encouraging consumers to show support socially as well by taking a picture of casual or athletic shoes or cleats laced up with green shoelaces — use #SaveYouthSports.

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“At DICK’S, we know the holiday season is a special time of year where people are inspired to make a difference,” said Lauren Hobart, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, DICK’S Sporting Goods and president of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, in a statement. “This holiday, we want to give our customers a meaningful way to feel like they’re part of something bigger.”

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