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Play Ball! Amazon Donates Nearly One Million Dollars to Youth Sports Programs Across Massachusetts

Published : Saturday, May 7, 2022, 8:00 am
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BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amazon is going to bat for youth sports programs in Massachusetts. Today, the company announced it is donating nearly $1 million to youth sports teams and organizations across the Commonwealth. The grants will help expand access and level the playing field for sports and fitness opportunities in underserved neighborhoods and help organizations meet COVID-related budget shortfalls.


“We care about the communities in which we operate and live. We’ve seen the power of youth sports to build character and make a positive impact on our children and our communities. That’s why Amazon is thrilled to be able to invest in the health and well-being of young people in Boston and beyond,” said Jerome Smith, Amazon’s Head of Community Engagement for New England. “The pandemic took so much from all of us, especially young people. We hope this donation will get young athletes back in the game.”

The company made the announcement at the South End Baseball’s Opening Day Parade and festivities. Amazon is investing in eight communities across the Commonwealth. The resources from Amazon come as many local youth sports organizations throughout the nation are struggling to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. Survey data from last year suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on youth sports participation. National research by the Aspen Institute found thirteen percent of youth sports parents said their community-based sports provider closed due to COVID-19, and another 12% noted it had merged with another organization. In total, 44% of families said their community-based program has either closed, merged or returned with limited capacity.

“South End Baseball is incredibly grateful for the support being given to us from Amazon with this year’s and last year’s grants,” said Pete Shults, president of SEB’s board of directors and a longtime coach. “With the pandemic essentially shutting down our fundraising efforts over the last two years, the company’s generosity is making a world of difference in our ability to keep the league’s operations running and funding our Hugh Chambers/Paul Rinkulis college scholarship program, which helps deserving players pursue their educational goals.”

“All Dorchester Sports and Leadership takes our mission of fostering healthy lifestyles and leadership skills very seriously. As we emerge from the past two years of near isolation, we recognize that participating in team sports helps address the stress our youth have been experiencing,” said Candice Gartley, Executive Director of All Dorchester Sports & Leadership. “Active bodies go hand in hand with good mental health. The generous support that Amazon provides ADSL allows us to work to re-engage our youth in healthy athletic activities.”

“To say this support from Amazon is game-changing is an understatement. This investment is just the spark needed after being sidelined by the pandemic to ensure sports in Lawrence come back with better quality opportunities that reach more deserving kids,” said Stephanie McArdle, Executive Director of Beyond Soccer & Beyond Volley. “In addition to helping Beyond Soccer and Beyond Volley advance its mission, providing affordable, year-round sports and recreational programs to thousands of kids, Amazon’s impact will be magnified through its simultaneous investment in the Lawrence Sports Alliance and the dozens of Lawrence sports groups involved, like Suenos Basketball, Lawrence Pop Warner, and Serving Stars, who, like Amazon, believe in the power of sports to strengthen communities and make sure young people reap sports’ awesome, life-long benefits.”

“On behalf of the Revere Youth Baseball and Softball League, it is a pleasure to thank Amazon for their generous donation to our league,” said Shawn Vetere, coach and board member of Revere Youth Baseball and Softball. “It has been a struggle to operate the league since early 2020 without the benefit of being able to fundraise because of the then COVID-19 Restrictions. The funds you are donating will help our league to operate under normal conditions once again. These funds will also enable us to provide better equipment and uniforms for the children. Additionally, the funds will help fund the two new batting cages we will be installing at our complex.”

“Milford Youth Baseball would like to extend a sincere thank you to Amazon for their generous donation,” said Paul Pellegrini, President, Milford Youth Baseball. “Amazon’s continued commitment to the Milford Community is evident through this donation which will assist in the renovation of the Rosenfeld Field Project. This grant will also allow Milford Youth Baseball to purchase much needed equipment which in turns defrays the costs associated with participation. Youth sports is an integral part of developing key skills such as healthy physical activity, personal relationships, teamwork, competition, and building confidence. These skills are building blocks for the future. We are grateful that Amazon has decided to support our league as a part of their significant investment in the youth of New England.”

“As our state turns the corner on the pandemic, we need to ensure our young people have access to equitable, affordable, and local recreational activities,” Smith added. “Investing in these programs is an investment in our youth and in helping them lead healthier, happier lives.”

Over the last year, Amazon has supported local communities across the Commonwealth through monetary and in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations and public schools. Some examples include donations to King Boston, The Greater Boston Food Bank, The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, local chapters of the Boys & Girls Club, local public schools and other area nonprofits. Last spring Amazon announced a donation of one million dollars to the arts and cultural institutions in and around Boston. There are also more than 28,000 organizations in Massachusetts that Amazon customers can support simply by shopping on Amazon smile. As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the company was employing more than 21,000 full- and part-time employees across its Massachusetts operations and is continuing to hire.

Amazon announced support for the following Massachusetts youth sports organizations:

Boston
All Dorchester Sports & Leadership
Boston Unity Cup
South End Soccer
Allston-Brighton Little League
Allston-Brighton Youth Hockey
Boston Hurricanes Athletic Club
Boston Triathlon Association
Dorchester Little League
Dorchester Pop Warner
Dorchester Youth Hockey
East Boston Little League
East Boston Soccer League
East Boston Softball League
Hyde Park Pop Warner
Hyde Park Youth Basketball
Hyde Park Youth Hockey
Boston Parks and Recreation Department
Mattapan Patriots
Roxbury Youth Soccer League
Roxbury Pop Warner Football
Mission Hill Little League
North End Athletic Association (NEAA)
North End Little League
North End Youth Hockey
South Boston Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship Trust Fund
South Boston Youth Hockey
South End Baseball
Parkway Sports League

Haverhill
Haverhill Jr. Hillies Youth Football
Haverhill Girls Softball
Haverhill Youth Soccer

Lawrence
Beyond Soccer & Volley
Lawrence Sports Alliance

Lynnfield
Lynnfield Pioneer Youth Football & Cheer

Milford
Milford Youth Baseball

Revere
Revere Jr Pop Warner Football
Revere Youth Baseball & Softball

Salem
Salem Little League
Salem Youth Football and Cheering

Worcester
Worcester Youth Soccer
Worcester Field Hockey
Ty Cobb Little League
Joe Schwartz Little League
Jesse Burkett Little League

Additional Partner Quotes:

“Dorchester Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball would like to express a heartfelt thank you to Amazon for the extreme generosity with your thoughtful donation,” said Shaun O’Sullivan, Vice President-Dorchester Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball. “This contribution serves as an investment in our Dorchester community in the City of Boston for our children to learn, play and enjoy the game of baseball! We appreciate Amazon’s commitment and goodwill that will provide additional resources serving kids and families in our program! Amazon hits a home run for Dorchester Baseball!”

“Dorchester Youth Hockey greatly appreciates the amazing donation from Amazon,” said Peter O’Sullivan, board member-Dorchester Youth Hockey. “This phenomenal gift extends opportunities to kids of our program to continue developing as athletes, hockey players, and contributing members of our neighborhood and Boston! We thank Amazon for the incredible support and will continue to share the same ideals of teamwork, sportsmanship and humanity! Amazon scores goals for Dorchester Youth Hockey!”

“Play Ball deeply appreciates Amazon’s support to give more middle school students the opportunity to play sports across the Commonwealth. We are excited to get more 'feet on the field' in Boston, Lawrence, Holyoke and New Bedford in the months to come,” said Chris Lynch, Executive Director of Play Ball Foundation.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.


Contacts

Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr



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