Over a decade ago, I created a program with USA Volleyball, our regions and our amazing clubs to donate just one of their used volleyballs at the end of their seasons, to give away to other programs around the world that are less fortunate. It started in part when a team in Africa gave me a ball they had made from banana leaves, which still sits in my office on my shelf to remind me how much we take for granted.
Over the ensuring years, programs have sent to USAV thousands of used, but in good enough condition, volleyballs. Our officials at Nationals have delivered a sharpie pen courtside for team’s final matches, so each team’s players can write good luck wishes or favorite quotes on the ball they are donating. The officials then take the donated balls back to deflate and collect for the program. Regions also gather lost balls and share them locally in their own Leave a Ball Behind program, or ship them to USA Volleyball. 4065 Sinton Road, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 is our address.
With the cost of luggage increasing to $50 round trip for a ball bag on the airlines, USA Volleyball has been working to save some money for clubs at our Nationals by providing the balls, so we have fewer balls coming in from nationals. We would welcome any or all used, but in good enough condition, balls from any club- especially when they are signed by players with good luck wishes.
The Sport Development department works with the US Olympic Committee to train sponsors, businesses and sporting groups in the Paralympic sport of sitting volleyball. It is fun, easy to play, a great leveler and way to experience being disabled. In Holland, with over 3,000 members in their sitting program, 80 percent of them are able bodied, who simply chose to play the game sitting, as a choice.
This month we traded the USOC, for their hard, rubber volleyballs, stored in a laundry cart, for some new Molten USAV Red white/blue volleyballs and Filastecs too. The USOC volleyballs will go to Africa. The University of Alabama Sports Medicine department competed in sitting volleyball and got to be the last group to use the white volleyballs. Thanks for considering donating to our program – even one ball makes a difference to the program getting it.