I'm on a quest to play tennis on every public court in Los Angeles. But it's not just fun and games. Because I take public transit or ride my bike to get to all these courts, I am often seated right next to fellow Angelenos who are having a much more rugged ride.
Their faces look weather-worn. Sometimes, you can't even see their faces because they're huddled under a tattered blanket. Their clothes are often tattered, too. Some guys don't even have a shirt.
It's an abject look, and it's everywhere. Politeness dictates looking away, but conscience dictates not turning away in your heart. When I'm pursuing my quest, of the main things I think about is what I might do beyond bearing witness to the awful inequity on display all over the streets of LA.
That's why I've been looking for an effective organization that provides clothes to people experiencing homelessness. Project Ropa is the best I've found. I went down to their warehouse in Gardena to donate some of my surplus T-shirts and jeans and found it well-organized, well-stocked, and welcoming.
To commemorate reaching the halfway point on my quest, I'm launching this fundraiser for Project Ropa. I have in mind to do a Court-a-Thon, which is like a Walk-a-Thon, and if that sounds good to you, please check out "More Info" below. You could also simply donate whatever you like right now, and that would be terrific.
Point being, the quest is not solely about me playing on every court. It's just as much about figuring out how to take productive action to relieve homelessness in LA, and this fundraiser feels like a step in the right direction.
Project Ropa's mission is to restore dignity to people experiencing homelessness by providing clothing and access to other hygiene services through impactful local partnerships.
Thanks in advance for joining me in contributing to this worthy cause by making a flat-rate donation now -- or considering the Court-a-Thon plan outlined below.
The Court-a-Thon works like a Walk-a-Thon. You donate according to how many new courts I visit between now and the end of the year or how many miles I travel to get there. I would be very glad to tell you how many courts I play or how far I travel between now and the end of the year. Then, you could tax-deductibly donate accordingly.
For reference, I have visited 100 new courts over the past year, so that's about eight courts a month. I've visited every court within bicycling distance, so the 120 that remain are all round-trips of 40 miles or more. So, if you're thinking of $10 per new court, you might be looking at a $160 donation before year's end. And if you want in for $1 per mile, that will be something like 16 trips of 40 miles or $640.
This assumes my current freedom from tennis elbow and other athletic and that's-life setbacks holds up. I'm grateful to have come this far -- 120 out of 240 courts -- as featured not only on my website but also on Spectrum One's local TV news and in the LA Times. And I'm grateful to you for reading to the end and considering teaming up with me to support the dignity of unhoused people in Los Angeles by making a contribution to Project Ropa.