Sports equipment can get expensive, especially for a family with multiple children.
It’s a fact Peadie and Jerri Lynn Cooper know all too well. The Des Allemands couple has five sons, and Peadie said buying baseball gear for each of their three boys who will be playing this spring started to really add up.
“Playing sports gets expensive, especially baseball with the cleats, helmets, gloves, bats and everything. We’re blessed enough to be able to afford to let our kids play whatever they want to play,” Peadie said. “We were taking inventory of what we needed for this upcoming season, and we had some friends who told us they had some things they weren’t using anymore and that we could have. It helped out significantly.”
The help from friends gave Peadie an idea.
“It just got me thinking that there’s a lot of people out there with old equipment just taking space up in their garage and attic, and there are a lot of families out there who struggle to get equipment for their kids … so why not create a bridge?” he said.
Creating a bridge is exactly what Peadie and Jerri Lynn decided to do. Peadie took to his Facebook page to turn his idea into a reality.
“God put it on my heart to help provide needy kids across the parish with adequate equipment and hopefully relieve the stress some parents experience paying for sports,” Peadie posted on his Facebook page last month. “I’d like to start collecting used equipment to provide to kids in need … if you know anyone that needs some help this coming season, tell them to message me. Hopefully we can meet everyone’s needs.”
The post worked, and soon the Coopers were receiving donations. Peadie said he’ll focus on baseball and softball donations for now but will take it one sports season at a time.
“I figure I’ll just let it grow organically,” he said. “Baseball is one of the more expensive sports to play, but I’m not opposed to expanding it. I’m really looking forward to being able to reach out to some of the booster clubs. They know a lot of the kids and families and what their situations are and I’m hoping they can spread the word to people that have equipment and to people that need it.”
Peadie said he himself knows all too well the stress it can cause kids when they don’t have proper equipment to play a sport they love.
“I know that experience of trying to swing a bat that you can barely lift above your heard,” he said.
Peadie said he was often the recipient of his own brother’s hand-me-down sports equipment, and that their size difference presented many challenges with using his brother’s old equipment.
“I coach pretty much every sport through the Des Allemands booster club, so I know a lot of the kids and see what they go through,” Peadie said. “Mentality goes a long way in sports, and if you have the proper equipment it goes a long way to help you have a winning mentality. You can’t run fast if your shoes don’t fit you and you hit better with the right size bat and not a bat that is too big or too small.”
Peadie said anyone with a donation, or who needs a donation, can connect with him through Facebook or call or text him at 504-621-0058.
“It’s one of these things we hope catches on and help a lot of people,” Peadie said. “I don’t want any kids to have to worry about something like having holes in their cleats. That’s what it’s all about … helping our community. It’s just something that spoke to my heart and I decided to make a move.”