When Kirkwood’s Courtney Haring came home from college for spring break, she was surprised to find dozens of bags and boxes heaped up in her family’s garage.
At first she thought maybe her parents had been doing some spring-cleaning.
“I said, ‘Mom, what is this? Is this trash?’ She said, ‘Nope, it’s 650 uniforms.”
That was great news to Haring, 19, a standout volleyball player from who is now a freshman at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. She quickly called Calvin Wainwright from Heaven Sent Outreach Ministries in Kansas City.
Haring has worked with Wainwright to distribute retired sports uniforms and used equipment to kids who are less fortunate. It was part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, which she completed her senior year of high school.
To earn the Gold Award, Haring worked with younger Girl Scouts to collect roughly 400 pieces of sports equipment and more than 1,300 retired uniforms from area schools. She spent more than 75 hours on the project and trained younger scouts to hold equipment drives.
“The whole point of the project was to make it sustaining,” Haring said. “That it’s still going on now is absolutely wonderful.”
The bags and boxes of like-new soccer uniforms were the result of a phone call she had made months earlier to David Hill, the owner of Kid’s Sportsworld, which recently merged with Johnny Macs. Hill remembered her call when he wound up holding 600 sets of soccer uniforms that had to be replaced due to faulty stitching.
Haring said her mother would help her deliver the uniforms and the sports equipment collected by younger scouts to Wainwright when she goes to Kansas City for a volleyball tournament later this month.
“He was really, really happy,” Haring said of Wainwright. He said there was a great need for soccer uniforms to help get new teams established.
Haring, who is studying psychology, is a 6-1 middle hitter for Emporia State. A four-year member of the volleyball squad at Kirkwood High School, she was named first team All-Suburban South Conference and earned player of the year honors. She was also named First Team All-District and First Team All-Region for the Pioneers her senior year.