Help underprivileged kiddos play youth sports

I've started fundraising on behalf of Tim Brakefield and Tim Gilroy, two Army combat veterans, who have taken it upon themselves to help underprivileged children play recreational sports. Tim has provided the information below:

My name is Tim Brakefield. I am a multi-tour combat veteran who served 9 years in the Army and was awarded 2 purple hearts and a bronze star for my service. My coaching partner, Tim Gilroy, also a combat veteran, is currently serving in the Army Reserves (15 years of service) and is a 3rd shift law enforcement officer with the Henry County Police Department.

My wife, Torri, and I adopted our oldest son, Russell, from foster care in 2019. Russell naturally gravitates to other children with lessor means and upbringings similar to his. He truly is a kind soul. He came home one day and was upset that he was going to be able to play recreation baseball but his friend wasn't able to due to home life situations. Butts County has a scholarship program for the rec department that makes the registration either a lessor amount or free depending on the person. We reached out, played middleman, and got the friend cleats, a glove, and a bat to play.

Over the last few years the number of kids has grown to the point of making 3-5 teams (nearly 100 kids; Age groups: 6 & under, 8 & under, 10 & under) depending on the season full of these kids who myself, Torri, and Tim Gilroy take care of. In addition to the recreational seasons we also started taking them to different baseball tournaments in Dalton Ga, Brunswick Ga, Jekyll Island, ect. to give them experiences they normally wouldn’t get to have otherwise.

To date, funding for these teams and activities has come from personal funds (Torri and I), Tim Gilroy, as well as hosting a Baseball Tournament this past spring and a few old school car washes locally. For the 2024 seasons we plan to host another tournament and at least 2 more car washes. Unfortunately, we've come to an impasse and will, sadly, have to start dropping teams if we are unable to find sponsors moving forward.

The number of kids change every year and every season (spring, summer or fall) due to families moving or interest from kids; however, we have been fortunate so far to not have to turn anyone away that wanted to participate.

The biggest cost we accrue are uniforms and equipment for the kids to play. I have attached my most recent uniform quote for a 15-player team for reference. In years past we have found a cheaper vendor(s) and gotten a cheaper product that doesn’t last. We are guilty of sometimes spending a little too much on uniforms, but that is because we want the kids to feel like real baseball players and not just running around in a t-shirt with a team name on it.

Equipment wise: for gloves, cleats, bats, baseballs, training equipment we get as nice as stuff as we can for them, but generally stick to clearance items so we can get the most bang for our buck.

The collective goal we have for these kids is this: “If this is the only season a kid gets to play a youth sport, I want them to look back and remember it as the best time they ever had.”

Please help us continue providing opportunities to these children. No amount is too small.











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Organizer

lauren thomas
Organizer
Jackson, GA

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