The Washington Times-Herald

March 15, 2014

Giving back to the game they love

By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Gracen Jarrett and Drew McCarthy have been playing soccer since they were about three years old. Each year, the Jarrett and McCarthy families would swap soccer equipment their children had outgrown.

“There are 12 kids between our two families,” said Jarrett. “The cleats that fit a player one year, won’t necessarily fit them the next year and all the equipment can be expensive to purchase each year.”

The two avid soccer players wanted to share their love of the sport with others and understand how expensive soccer could be for families with multiple children wanting to play.

So when the two high school students needed a service project, they jumped at the chance to have a project they were passionate about and the Washington Soccer Equipment Drop and Swap was born. This marks the second year for the event.

Collection for the gently used and clean equipment will be held from now until March 30. “Those wanting to clear out their old soccer gear can also come out the night of the swap and trade their gently used items for something that fits,” said Jarrett. “The swap is first come first serve.”

“We’ll take cleats, shin pads, soccer balls, soccer bags, referee equipment, pretty much anything soccer related,” said McCarthy, who along with Jarrett will come pick up the items for donations. “But we don’t take socks.”

The swap will take place at the Washington Soccer Federation shelter at the Gwaltney Sports Complex from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on March 31.

“If you need soccer equipment but don’t have anything to trade, that’s OK,” said Jarrett. “All the items are for sale and will all be marked $5 or less.”

Jarrett and McCarthy, who are both referees for the local soccer events, said that those who donate an items have the option of selecting the same type of item in the correct size the night of the swap for free. All other items will be sold for $5 or less and proceeds from the swap benefit the Washington Soccer Federation to fund scholarships for those wishing to play recreational soccer. They also hope to spread the drop and swap to other soccer federations as well.

“The drop and swap could be applied to almost any sport and in any community,” said Jarrett. “This makes it possible for kids to play that may not otherwise get to.”

Items that are not sold will be carried over for next year’s event. “Just because someone doesn’t need an items this year, doesn’t mean someone need it next year,” said McCarthy.

For more information on the event or to donate items, contact Jarrett at 812-254-9270 or McCarthy at 812-254-0497 or find them on Facebook.