2021 will be a year to remember. In January my wonderful and strong grandmother passed away. It was her passing that fueled me to get Jerseys for Juniors operational. In my younger playing years she absolutely loved watching me play sports. As I got older and new athletes of the family emerged she took to watching them play. She really enjoyed watching the family compete and absolutely would have loved the concept behind Jerseys for Juniors. See our home page for more information on what we do.
In February I immediately started the preparation process to get this organization off the ground. I had the logo revamped (the original logo was designed in 2012) and the website designed while I worked on all the administrative submissions to the State and Federal levels.
During this process I spoke with a lot of people and had to share my passion behind Jerseys for Juniors. I say “had” because for years I became my own worst enemy. I knew I wanted to help people and I wanted it to be through the world of sports – but what if people didn’t take to my idea? But as I went through the pending launch I received so much positive feedback. To hear the accolades from people I just met really motivated me and I finally got out of my own way.
Mid-year I reached out to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). This would be my first “pitch” of what I envisioned we wanted to do as an organization. I immediately heard back and began coordinating efforts to begin designing our first two care packages. I must admit that when I heard back, I cried reading that e-mail response from MUSC. An idea crafted many years ago has finally come to fruition!
The pressure was on, however. As a new organization, and one that relies solely on donations, how do I show the world what we want to do and how we want to help? People on Twitter (and Instagram) started following us and we slowly started receiving donations! More people believing in me, Jerseys for Juniors, and our mission!
Part of my objective is to use local artists and local business to fulfill care package design and field/court improvement and maintenance. For example – with our first care package (code named Hawk) we found a local frame shop in Hanahan, SC and an artist on Etsy that made a Seahawks patch. For our second care package (code named LAKC) we used an artist that makes custom sports cards. Small businesses are lifelines to local economies – so using those services and local artists will remain a top priority for us.
In December my grandfather passed away. As an avid sports fan, before he passed, I would have been excited to have him by my side as we presented our first care package to MUSC. In December we also received our approval for 501(c)(3) which he would surely have been proud of me and the organization.
As we close the year, which consisted most of getting the organization up and running, we look forward to 2022. We want to expand our reach throughout South Carolina and the local communities therein and eventually spread our mission across the United States.
Thank you to those who have donated, offered support through sharing our words on social media; and to our future donors – we won’t let you down. We have big visions and with your increased support through donations we can bring hope and smiles to juniors through the world of sports.
Also, special thanks to the Jerseys for Juniors team. Your dedication and passion for this organization means the world to me.
In loving memory of Grandma and Grandpa Wilson.
Jerseys for Juniors, Founder & President