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Washington, DC's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Washington, DC | WUSA9.com

Maryland group is 'leveling the playing field' in sports

SILVER SPRING, Md. — SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Inside a modest warehouse in Silver Spring, sit boxes of sports equipment. The boxes are filled with bats, gloves, tennis rackets, and equipment for any sports you can think of.

Maitlyn Healy is the Executive Director of Leveling the Playing Field. The organization makes it possible for everyone to try a sport, no matter the cost.

"We donate mostly to Title 1 schools, volunteer leagues, after-school programs. Many of these programs have a zero dollar athletic budget," said Healy.

Each year the organization donates $1.5 million in equipment to more than 750 sports programs. The impact they have is widespread and those on the receiving end are grateful. Craig Fitzpatrick helped spearhead the Washington Wheelers, a blind hockey team.

LPF donated more than $30,000 worth of equipment to get the team started. Without that organization, Fitzpatrick says the Wheelers wouldn't exist.

"When we step into that locker room it's other people that are just like us and it feels normal. We wouldn't be able to do that without the equipment to play hockey together," said Fitzpatrick.

Leveling the Playing Field is always looking for donations, especially lacrosse equipment and soccer shin guards.