DALLAS, Texas — An Oak Cliff pee wee football program needs help outfitting kids with gear, after losing about two-thirds of its equipment when a nearby community center stopped supporting youth sports.
In May, the Salvation Army told WFAA that the future of the Cedar Crest Community Center was being discussed by its advisory board.
Until a transition and new purpose was settled, the center told those participating in youth sports to find new spots to practice and house equipment.
The Cedar Crest Comets Football Team, which is a free-to-play pee wee team for kids 13 and under, suddenly didn't have a home.
Coach Terrence Randolph Sr. said that when he went to the community center, two-thirds of the team's equipment had either been given away or discarded.
"They were throwing away helmets, shoulder pads, football uniforms, basketball uniforms, and I asked this guy why he was throwing away our stuff," Randolph said. "It was stressful."
Randolph and a few other coaches have gathered some many to get kids in gear, but they still need some assistance.
On Saturday, they held a car wash in Oak Cliff to raise money. Around $12,000 of a $20,000 goal has been raised, but the team still needs pads, game uniforms, and some helmets.
At their practice on Thursday night, a lot of kids didn't have pads, helmets didn't match, and some didn't even have helmets.
The team's first official games start later this month.
"You don't only want to look like a team," Randolph said. "You want to look like a family. We all want to look alike from the top to the bottom."
If you'd like to help the Comets out, you can go to their Facebook page and send them a message.
And helping is important. Randolph said that The Comets isn't just a football program, it's an outlet for kids in the community.
A community that sees its share of crime.
At the start of the summer, Dallas was on track to have one of the highest murder rates in decades.
"It keeps them out of trouble," Randolph said. "At the end of the day, if you give these kids somewhere to go and something to do – then it keeps them from getting in trouble on the streets."
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