CHICAGO (CBS) — When 16-year-old Anuva Shandilya was a freshman, she and her 11-year-old brother went door-to-door in their neighborhood looking for donated sports equipment.
“We went door-to-door, putting up flyers, asking if anyone had anything to donate. Just that summer, we collected more than 200 pieces — just my brother and I,” she said.READ MORE: IDES Kept Offices Closed While Many Struggled To Get Their Unemployment Benefits: What Really Happened Inside And Outside Those Walls
And that’s how Chance for Sports was born.
“I played Lacrosse for four years, and ran track for four years. I’ve been well traveled as well. I was talking it over with my parents and the one thing that was in common of all the places we’ve traveled, there was poverty. And that made me realize there were kids out there that cannot afford sports equipment and are unable to participate. That’s how it started.”
Everything from golf equipment, bikes, soccer, basketballs and even dance attire, she’s donated to underprivileged children and families unable to afford the equipment.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Lakeshore Flood Threat Continues
Three years later, they’ve donated more than 2,000 pieces of sports equipment to various organizations, including Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Working Bikes and an agency in Cancun, Mexico, Tres Reyes.
“I thought it was just going to be my brother and I at first, but then we got volunteers involved and it really grew. What I’m doing is giving children a ‘chance’ for sports,” Shandilya said.
“It surprised me how much positive feedback we’ve gotten from so many organizations. When people donate, they usually donate money or clothes, but sports is a whole other entity. It’s less about basic necessities — it’s about giving them something for them to do. It helps them in school; it disciplines them and it’s something that changes their lives.”
Shandilya is a junior at Nequa Valley High School. She says she hopes to hold several equipment drives within her school district.MORE NEWS: Climate Change And Chicago's Lake Michigan Shoreline: What The Future May Hold And The Action Being Taken
“It feels truly amazing to help hundreds of kids like this. Helping other people has changed me as well. It’s been truly inspiring.”