Teenage charity promotes recycling of sports tools

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NAPERVILLE (AP) – A teenage traveler from the world of Naperville is too young to open a bank account, but has already raised something invaluable for many children in need: over 3,400 sports equipment to donate for them can play.

17-year-old Anuva Shandilya is the founder of Chance for Sports, a nonprofit that donates lightly used sports equipment to underprivileged children in the suburbs and around the world. From the basement of the South Naperville home where she lives with her parents, Pankaj and Pooja, and younger brother Daksh, the mission of the Anuva Charity is evident.


Lots of golf clubs, football helmets, basketballs, roller skates, tennis rackets, skateboards, bikes, lacrosse sticks and all kinds of sporting goods are organized in an unfinished basement room. They are packed in bags near the water heater and stacked in piles on a ping-pong table.

Summer is the fundraising phase for the charity Anuva started three years ago when she was in first grade at Neuqua Valley High School, and the school year is turning more to a distribution phase.

To collect used gear, Anuva, Daksh, and six others from Neuqua, Metea, and Waubonsie Valley High Schools place a donation box outside Play It Again Sports on 75th Street in Naperville and go door-to-door two times a week looking for donations. They collect around 450 articles per week, she says.

Once the sports business builds up, Anuva searches for organizations like Mooseheart Child City & School, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago, and SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. The groups are all aimed at children who otherwise might not have the chance to try out various sports to decide what they like.

“There are so many kids out there who don’t have the same opportunities as I do,” Anuva said.

Before majoring in athletics, Anuva said she tried field hockey, ice skating and soccer, all with the support of her parents, who could afford to buy her the shoes, socks. , poles, skates required.

She began to realize the frequent lack of athletic options when her family moved and traveled during her early years before moving to Naperville in 2011. Anuva was born in Denmark, lived in Canada and England and has visited 24 countries. But she said she observed a painful experience as a constant:

“I have seen poverty everywhere,” she says.

That’s why Chance for Sports has donated to organizations in Haiti, India, Mexico and Zambia. She has traveled, using the free airline miles and hotel stays her father accumulates as a frequent business traveler, to Mexico to donate last summer and to India to donate for two. groups there in June.

“I like to do it personally,” she said.

Daksh has helped since Chance for Sports was founded and also appreciates its international mission. He said that when his sister goes to college, he hopes to expand the reach of the nonprofit to places such as Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.

Kids in some countries may not be familiar with American sports like soccer, but Chance for Sports still collects helmets, soccer balls, and protection, thinking the gear could be an introduction.

“I know there are kids who are interested in the new world of sports,” Anuva said.


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