We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Schweitzer, a documentary filmmaker in Boston, will be producing a documentary film about SquashCares. The film will be an explanation of our efforts, as well as a marketing tool for potential schools, clubs, urban squash programs, or any other organizations who may wish to facilitate their own ball blanket sewing events or equipment collection drives. Stay tuned for updates!
We are super excited about this year and we wanted to share our lofty goals and some of the projects we are working on.
We need your dead squash balls! Based on our new relationship with college squash programs, expansion into Philadelphia, Providence, Groton, and Johannesburg (South Africa), and our continued relationship with Framingham State University, our goal is to collect 10,000 dead balls this year. If we are successful in meeting our goal, we will have diverted, since we started this project, 1,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
Convinced you want to help us? What can you do? Start saving up those dead balls. Ask your club or school to start a collection bin for SquashCares. Join SquashCares as an Ambassador and spread the word about our efforts and collect balls at tournaments.
Thanks to these great clubs and schools who currently host collection bins for SquashCares – Dana Hall School, The Maugus Club, Hamilton College, St. Paul’s School, Cross Courts Squash, Williams College, Harvard University, The Hopkins School, Pomfret School, and Newton Squash and Tennis. Please drop your balls in collection bins at those facilities. If your club or school is not on our list, please encourage them to host a collection bin.
We are off to a great start this year. Kudos to our Ambassador Charlotte Bell for collecting almost 400 balls from tournaments and squash camps this past summer and to Barrett Gallo for spearheading collection of over 400 balls in Rhode Island.
So far we have collected 5,916 balls this year from the following contributors:
New York Athletic Club – 1406 balls
Westchester Country Club – 250 balls
Nobles – 100 balls
Newton Squash and Tennis – 477 balls
Newport Steamer Squash Tournament – 45 balls
Maugus Club – 122 balls
Hamilton College – 53 balls
University Club – 265 balls
Dana Hall School – 51 balls
Concord-Acton Squash Club – 537 balls
Agawam Hunt Club – 212 balls
Brown University – 25 balls
Cross Courts Squash and Fitness Center – 14 balls
Westchester Life Time Athletic Club – 309 balls
Rhode Island Country Club – 180 balls
NEPSAC Girls “A’ Tournament and teams – 413 balls
CSA College National Championships
Harvard University – 106 balls
Middlebury College – 293 balls
Vassar College – 167 balls
Hamilton College – 400 balls
Connecticut College – 79 balls
Dickinson College – 61 balls
Unidentified – 391 balls
This year we plan to sew at least 50 ball blankets at five sewing events. Again, that is a real step for our organization given that we have sewn 45 blankets since our inception and have held five sewing events in the last three years.
Our big push this year is to expand our ball blanket sewing presence outside the Boston area. We are working with Drexel University and SquashSmarts in Philadelphia to hold a sewing event in the winter. Also, the community service club of Rhode Island School of Design is holding sewing events during their Wintersession, which are open invitation to Brown University students. We are also working with Hope Prockop to run a sewing event on a weekend in the fall at the Groton School and with a fourth prep school that has shown interest in sewing blankets. Keep checking back for updates on our progress.
In the Boston area we will continue our partnership with Framingham State University to sew and prep blankets for SquashCares.
On April 21, 2018, we will hold our fourth annual sewing event at Dana Hall. This event coincides with Global Youth Services Day. So hold the date and come help make the world a better place.
We still have more fleece than we can use from Polartec‘s generous donation to SquashCares. So if you want to run a program, please reach out to email@example.com, and we can provide you with resources to do so.
Framingham State University
Our first five blankets this year were sewn by students in the Functional Design class at FSU. Professor Pamela Sebor-Cable organized her students to sew these blankets, which will be donated to the Lurie Center for Autism at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and to patients at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Egoli Squash – South Africa
SquashCares is going international! We are pleased to announce that we will be using our Disney Friends for Change Grant to fund shipment of fleece to Egoli Squash in South Africa! Egoli Squash was established in 2009 in South Africa to focus on an intensive and long term program: incorporating squash, fitness, tutoring, community service, and mentoring in order to change children’s lives for the better.
We will be partnering with the Sew Egoli Project which empowers girls and women involved in squash with sewing skills. Egoli Squash has set up ball collection points at various squash clubs in South Africa, and members of their sewing program will use the supplies we send them and balls they collect to produce ball blankets, which they will donate free of cost to local organizations that service people with ADHD and autism.
Rhode Island School of Design
The RISD Community Service Club is sewing blankets for SquashCares during Wintersession. RISD will donate these blankets to people with ADHD and Autism in the Providence area. Their ball blanket sewing events are open to students attending Brown University. We are thankful for their involvement and the expansion of SquashCares.
Led by the incomparable Hope Prockop, Groton students produced three ball blankets during a number of sewing events this January and February. These blankets will be distributed to individuals and organizations nearby.
Consistent with our ambitious plans for this year, we intend to collect 200 pieces of equipment for distribution to urban squash programs. This is double our efforts from last year.
This year we will continue to collect equipment for SquashBusters, Squash Haven and CitySquash. In addition, we have added a fourth recipient of equipment – SquashSmarts in Philadelphia. Two students in the Philadelphia area have agreed to coordinate our collection activities there.
Thanks to our collection events, we have so far collected over 120 pieces of equipment – 42 rackets, 24 pairs of shoes, 42 pieces of clothing, 6 squash bags and 8 pairs of goggles.
Please join us by contributing your gently used squash equipment so that others can enjoy the game of squash as much as you do.