Thursday, September 13, 2012

NC Teen Shows What Love Of The Game Is All About

SEPT 13th, 2012-Today's post has nothing to do with players, leagues, teams, etc. It has to do with something every bit as important and meaningful (or more so), in my opinion. 

There's a young man in North Carolina who has taken his love of sports card collecting into a somewhat uncommon direction, a direction which would fall under the "share the wealth" category. His name is Mitchell Kennedy, he's entering his sophomore year at West Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, NC, and he's the driving force behind Sports Cards For Kids, a charitable endeavor which has seen the donation of thousands upon thousands of sports cards to children who might not otherwise be able to buy their own. As much as I'd like to tell the story, I'd rather let Mitchell do the talking here. 

How did you come about this idea? What made you want to do this?

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. 

How did you get started with your donations?

A new card shop had just opened near were I lived. The owner of the store allowed me to put a donation box on his counter. 

Have you had much support from other businesses or collectors?

I have had support from other collectors and some one time donations from Panini and Topps. 

Do you have any plans to expand your donations even further?

I would love to be able to expand. I have started to make trips to Boys and Girls Clubs in different town and I have also gone to several hospitals. 

What do you think the future holds for Sports Cards For Kids?

I would love to make trips out of North Carolina and have support from a card company or athletes. 

What would you say has been your most memorable experience since you started?

I have two, the first one is when I gave out the first Armanti Edwards autographed cards. The kid who received it went back to his table and said "Does anyone want to trade for this?" and many people said yes. Then after the reactions from the other kids said "Sike!" The second one is when I gave a Albert Haynesworth jersey card to a Patriots fan and when I came back almost 10 minutes later the same kid had the card in his hand feeling the jersey.

Have you contacted many other athletes for assistance? Who, if any, has responded?

I have tweeted almost every athlete on twitter. I have had the most support from Gary Barnidge, TE for the Panthers, who is getting all of the players to sign cards for Sports Cards for Kids. Some of the biggest names like Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow responded to my letters.

Tell me about how your project works? How do you keep it going?

I divide the cards up by sports, superstar players, and hall of fame players. I divide them between the packs and make adjustments if needed. I put 12 to 20 cards per pack depending on how big the group is. The biggest thing that has help is Facebook. It keeps our supporters informed on what is going on and spreads the word.

I'm always glad to help spread the word when it comes to undertakings like this. Mitchell's website is linked above, or contact him at for more info or if you wish to donate to his cause. Also, go 'like' him on Facebook. Help Mitchell help countless more children, any way you are able. 

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