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Youth S’portstock Inc. gives all kids the lifelong benefits of S’port and physical activity by providing S’porting equipment, apparel, and footwear to youth organizations and families FREE of charge.
Let’s just say it all started during a Mission Trip to help rebuild a village called Villa Esperanza in Puerto Rico, of which had 130 homes standing before Hurricane Maria and 7 of the 130 homes barely survived the aftermath.
During this trip I promised 2 teenagers in this hard hit village, I’d get a couple basket balls shipped to them. I stopped to play basketball with them, on a dirt driveway which had a portable rim that would break every 5 shots or so.
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Rev. Mike Czyz
Senior Vice President of Advisory
Rev. Mike Czyz was born in Syracuse and has lived in the Phoenix, NY area his whole life. He has taught a Foundations of Faith class for over 30 years. Pastor Mike received his credentialing through the Assemblies of God and is serving as a Care Pastor. It is his desire to assist people, connect relationally and spiritually, and he strives to help people in need.
Rev. Jeremiah Poulsen
Vice President of Advisory
Jeremiah was born and raised in Western New York. He has been working with youth both vocationally and voluntarily since 2000. He continues to have a strong passion to help students to live the best possible version of their lives.
Director of Community Outreach
Originally from the Ilion, NY, Jeff studied History and Political Science at the College of Saint Rose. He spent time volunteering at Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus. It was while playing soccer with the youth during recreation time that Jeff saw the impact sports can be towards building stronger relationships. Currently serving as Assistant Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse, Jeff continues to learn more about the issues plaguing local youth and utilize his skills and resources to create valuable learning experiences and opportunities for them. He strives to be a positive and trusted leader in the Syracuse community.
At that moment I noticed they were using a soccer ball to play basketball. I quickly realized it was one if not the only sporting good in the whole village. Soon after keeping my promise, I start a fundraising campaign to get sporting goods to the youth of Puerto Rico. After raising the first allotment of funds, I soon realized it was extremely expensive to ship supplies to Puerto Rico (for many reasons including the Jones Act). So I decided to get FUNDS to a church organization in PR thru some of my contacts in Convoy of Hope.
With that said, I made a decision to get the acquired sporting goods to local kids here in CNY; and Youth S’portstock was unexpectedly born and has become a bit more involved than I planned (Being that I’ve been a full time single father, who works a full time job and just married the absolute love of my life on May 4,2019.
But when I see the smiles on these kids faces when they get sporting goods in their hands (especially NEW), it inspires me to keep going. And God gives me the strength to persevere.
I remember being that kid at home who used things from balled up socks with duck tape to substitute having an actual football… to using the “No Parking” sign on the street as the basket that counted as 1 point when ever one would hit the sign with whatever ball we had access to at the time.
Our only access to somewhat appropriate sporting goods were at youth organizations or school. And even then, there either weren’t enough for all of the kids to enjoy, or the sporting goods were so worn/outdated they were rendered useless. How can I stop now?!