Sharing is caring, and Maggie Kessler cares a lot about sports.
Kessler is a member of the Dickinson community who was enjoying her active life, until it took a tragic turn.
“Two years ago, I was struck with an autoimmune disease that left me disabled and since then, I have struggled with a sense of purpose ... because I’ve always been so active and involved with people,” she said. “So when (that) happened, it was just very hard.”
However, after a lunch conversation Kessler got the idea to begin something that would help people continue to be active in sporting activities, and save money for those who need it most.
“On days where I’m well enough to do something … I could collect the used sports gear and clean it, mend it, whatever. Make it into reusable condition for youth in need so everyone has the opportunity to play sports,” she said. “I used to be a single mom of two children, and I know how difficult it was to try to scrape up that money constantly to pay for gear.”
Kessler has only one true goal with this project, allowing youth to enjoy the beauty of sports. “Sports is so important,” she said. “Extracurricular activities teach children, give them confidence, gives them discipline; it’s just absolutely wonderful. And if sports is their thing and it’s something that they want to do, then every kid should have the chance to play a sport. That’s what I'm hoping to achieve.”
Although the company is in the early stages, she has had conversations with the secretary of state to make sure her company follows the proper procedures, such as potentially registering as a nonprofit organization. Kessler is sincere. She wants no money and will not accept anything other than used sporting equipment that can be reused for others to use and enjoy.
“I’m going to clean it, I’m going to mend it and re-gift to a use in need,” she said. “I’m not going to look at anybody’s financial records or anything like that, I'm going to trust the citizens of Dickinson. If they’re really in need, they’ll be contacting me.”
Kessler considers this situation a win-win situation for everyone involved.
“It’s a win for me because it’s really going to give me that sense of purpose again and do something good for the community, which I’ve been wanting to do here since I moved (to Dickinson) five years ago, and it’s a win for the kids.”
Kessler plans to launch her project on March 1, but mentioned that she already has people that are interested in giving away their equipment to Kessler, allowing her to believe that her goal is going to “take off.”
Kessler wants the community to know that she is willing to pick up any gear or cleats that are no longer being used and will happily refurbish the goods to give them to those in need.
Kessler admitted she may not be able to have a name for her charity, but she will have a motto to work by.
“Let’s play it forward, Dickinson,” she said.
Kessler mentioned she doesn’t see it as a solitary effort, but rather as working with the Dickinson community, and said she welcomes help by anyone willing to share the same passion, especially athletes.
Kessler is looking forward to begin playing it forward on March 1.
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