Daily Breeze Ball Drive extends the finish line to Dec. 24 – Daily Breeze

Time is running out to brighten up a local kid’s holiday this year by picking up a sports ball for the Daily Breeze Ball Drive — but we’re giving folks a little more time.

The Daily Breeze has extended its drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of LA Harbor until Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, as we try to break last year’s record and collect 4,500 new athletic balls.

As of Dec. 13, the drive had collected a little more than 1,000 balls.

“This ball drive really makes the Christmas holiday for so many children,” said Mike Lansing, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of LA Harbor. “We truly appreciate everyone’s generosity, but (we) need and (are) hoping for even more, given the number of youth counting on us.”

While most of the donations each year typically flood in late in the campaign, the Daily Breeze made the call to extend this year’s donation period beyond the original Dec. 17 deadline to give folks a little more time.

Joining this year’s campaign is The Beach Reporter, the Breeze’s sister publication.

“Each year, South Bay residents display their generosity by supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs via the ball drive,” said Tom Bray, senior editor for the Daily Breeze. “We’re confident they will come through again in the stretch this year.”

The drive is in its 22nd year. Last year’s record-breaking campaign brought in the equivalent of 3,700 balls.

For the Boys & Girls Clubs of LA Harbor, the need for more balls has grown every year. Celebrating its 84th anniversary this year, the club now has eight traditional clubhouses and programing on 12 Los Angeles Unified School District campuses in the Harbor Area.

The program now serves more than 11,000 young people annually and the campaign’s mission is to make sure every club member who wants one has access to a ball.

A ball’s lifespan at the clubs is about a year.

Athletic balls of any type are welcome — basketballs, footballs, baseballs, softballs, soccer balls, volleyballs — as long as they are new and still in their packaging.

Big 5 Sporting Goods is once again providing a 25% discount to any regularly priced sports ball being donated at their store collection sites.

This is the first year LAUSD has participated in the program, sponsoring a drive thru donation event on Dec. 4. Schools, however, will be on winter break starting Dec. 20.

Cal Pro Sports has joined the campaign also for the first time this year and is offering donated balls. If anyone buys 12 balls during one visit, CalProSports will donate another on them. The store is at 1740 Palos Verdes Drive North, Harbor City.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union also is helping out this year and accepts donations at several of its sites.

Other supporters include the Kiwanis Club of Harbor City and Lomita and the Medina family of San Pedro.

Collection bins can be found at:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles Harbor: 1200 S. Cabrillo Ave., San Pedro; and 1444 W. Q St., Wilmington. Participants can order balls online and have them sent there or they can donate cash directly to the clubs, which will purchase the balls.
  • First Bank: 21705 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance; and 1644 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena.
  • UNIFY Financial Credit Union: 14550 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne; One Space Park Drive, Redondo Beach; 1899 Western Way, Torrance; 8632 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles; and 20305 Anza Ave., Torrance.
  • Big 5 Sporting Goods, a longtime supporter of the Daily Breeze Ball Drive: 529 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro; 2745 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance; 17542 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance; 20700 S. Avalon Blvd., Carson; and 2515 E. El Segundo Blvd., El Segundo. The stores will provide 25% off regular priced balls that get donated.
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