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Indy PAL Club in need of funding for program and activities

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A youth program in Indianapolis that is aimed at building relationships with police is in desperate need of funding.

The Indianapolis Police Athletic League, which is better known as the Indy PAL Club depends on donations and sponsorship from the community.

The program needs around $60,000 to keep up with the activities and many kids who take part could be affected.

A group of kids were playing basketball inside of the gym at the JTV Hill Center Tuesday evening.

Many of them come every week looking to play, learn, and grow, and they’re all part of the Indy PAL Club.

“Well, I’ve been playing for the PAL Club since I was six years old; basketball, baseball, and football,” said Devon Seats. “I’m still playing while I’m 15.”

Seats was helping out with the activities Tuesday night. He said the program is teaching him all about leadership and character with help from police.

“They got a good program, mentoring, and they help you with your homework when you need it,” Seats said.

But the Indy PAL Club is running into some money problems.

“Funding is always an issue with programs and obviously the more the funding, the more youth we’re able to reach,” said IMPD Captain Lorenzo Lewis.

Captain Lewis works for IMPD in the neighborhood outreach office. He said the program is now looking for donations from people and businesses in the community to help with the annual budget.

“The programs that we have for example like football, basketball, baseball, we’d like to add soccer down the road here as a matter of fact we’re working on that,” Captain Lewis said. “We offer that for free. We don’t charge the kids anything for that so we’d like to continue that.”

Captain Lewis said that money would also help to pay for uniforms and sports equipment.

“A lot of times parents don’t have the $200 to foot for football equipment so we offer that stuff for free,” he said. “We want to be able to provide quality equipment uniforms and supplies.”

Captain Lewis said he’s optimistic about the outcome. The program has been a staple in the community for 75 years with daily activities for kids.

“We rarely leave with a dry eye. The kids we learn a lot from the kids as well and the kids learn a lot from us,” Captain Lewis said.

In addition to asking for donations, the program is also looking for volunteers to help with coaching. The program is free for parents to sign up their kids.

Click here to sign up or volunteer.