Community raises $40K in donations after trailer full of sports equipment stolen

Community raises $40K in donations after trailer full of sports equipment was stolen

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Brookside neighborhood on Indianapolis’s east side came together last week to raise more than $40,000 in donations. 

The money was needed to replace a stolen trailer full of sports equipment that served Brookside Community Play

It’s a Brookside Development free initiative founded in 2016 to help those in the community overcome trauma through sports.

The theft came just one week before Brookside Play was to hold their first summer event of the year. 

Following a story by News 8 on the theft, Brookside Play staff received an anonymous tip on some of the equipment’s location. 

The tip led police to a garage where some missing pieces were found. It also led to an arrest. 

Since News 8 told Brookside Play’s story last week, contributions have been pouring in. 

A trailer was donated and Brookside Play’s Go Fund Me campaign surpassed their goal.

The Indiana Sports Corp saw the story and showed their support with a $2,000 grant. 

But the donations didn’t stop there. 

An email notifying the board of the grant led to individual board members pitching in for a total of $26,000. 

“It’s terrible news. When a community that’s in need and kids who may not have access to this kind of equipment or this kind of opportunity… to see someone take advantage of that is really heartbreaking and I think that’s a large part of what inspired people to come together and be helpful,” said Ryan Vaughn, President of Indiana Sports Corp

Brookside Community Play director Andrew Neal said, “We were shocked to be thought of for a $2,000 grant but then seeing what they were able to do with their board of directors… it really showed us how much our community cares about us and how much they believe in the kids here in the Brookside neighborhood.”

With the donations received, Brookside Play hopes to increase the number of families and kids served from 250 to 300. They also have plans to expand their summer day camp program. 

Brookside Community Play will hold their first event of the summer June 4 at Brookside Park 

Neal told News 8 that 10 relay stations will be set up as planned and all are welcome to attend.