9 Places to Donate or Upcycle Your Used Sporting Gear

Used sporting gear. We all seem to have some in a closet, in our basement, or in our garage. Bikes our kids have outgrown. Ice skates or Rollerblades you haven’t worn in years. A barely used bat or tennis racquet and corresponding can of balls. Or maybe you have more tights and yoga tops than you’ll ever wear (or wear out) in one lifetime. What can we do with all of this stuff?

9 Organizations that Accept Your Used Sporting Gear

Outside Magazine announced this week a drive called Gear Up, Give Back, in partnership with Gear Fix, and they are campaigning to get 10,000 donations before Memorial Day. You just download the pre-paid shipping label and mail the products in. The Gear Fix will repair your equipment and sell it in their shop, and all proceeds go to support The Outdoorist Oath, the nonprofit founded by Pattie Gonia to promote planet, inclusion, and adventure.

used sporting gear
source: Pixabay

If it’s an extra bicycle you have, you may consider a donation to Bikes for Humanity  a grassroots movement run by volunteers around the world. Bikes are “recycled” in communities in developed countries, and then these bikes are given a second life in locally or in a developing countries. Bikes for Humanity estimates 10 million bicycles end up in landfills every year and that is unnecessary, when the need is so great. You can find the chapter closest to you here.

Leveling the Playing Field “redistributes equipment to expand access and equity within youth sports and recreation programs in under-resourced communities,” according to their website, in an effort to create “a world with no sidelines.” To date, they have distributed more than $8 Million in used sporting gear. While their in-person drop off locations are in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., they accept shipments to any of their warehouses from anyone anywhere in the country.

used sporting gear
Source: Pixabay

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, One World Running has been serving runners in need of shoes in the U.S. and worldwide since 1986.  They have a special collection program for military recruits. You can donate shoes to local running stores or send them directly to the organization.

Peace Passers collects used sporting gear related to soccer. They accept donations of jerseys or practice shirts, cleats, balls, ball pumps and needles, indoor or turf soccer shoes, socks, goalie gloves, ball bags and travel sport duffle bags, and small flat field cones. Peace Passers is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Sports Shed serves schools and nonprofits in under resourced areas who struggle to run athletic programs due to lack of funding, mainly in the city of Chicago. Donations can be made at Play it Again Sports in Evanston, Naperville, Forest Park, Oak Lawn, and Northbrook, Illinois. Items needed include basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, all baseball and softball equipment, weights, gym bags, hockey gear, bicycles, golf clubs, yoga mats, and more.

All Kids Should Play accepts used sporting gear (lacrosse sticks, sports nets, tennis racquets, golf clubs, baseball caps, team uniforms, sneakers, cleats, and balls) in good condition from people in the Baltimore area. Founder of the organization, Robbie Palmisano says they can help groups or individuals in other areas or states to set up the logistics for collecting used sporting gear for kids in their local areas. Just fill out the contact us information on their website.

used sporting gear
source: Pixabay

Turn Two for Youth is a charity run by the American Baseball Coaches Association so it collects bats, catcher’s equipment, batting shirts and uniforms, and other baseball-related gear. They started in North Carolina as a grassroots effort but have spread throughout the United States. Donations (of cash or equipment) can be sent to the address in Charlotte, North Carolina, that is listed on their website.

Similar is Kids Gear for Baseball that collects baseball used sporting gear in the Boston area and distributes it to those kids in need in the local and surrounding communities and to places abroad, including to baseball-playing kids in the Dominican Republic and in Nigeria.

The aforementioned organization accept your used sporting gear, but of course this is not an exhaustive list. There may be places closer to your home to donate equipment to; Google the possibilities. And honor this Earth Week by cleaning out your garage, basement, and closets (with your kids, if you have any) and sharing your abundance with others.


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