Coaches of the Long Beach Pop Warner football league are asking for your help. They are raising money to make sure every child who wants to play this fall is able to join the team.
The league was unable to hold their annual fundraising events due to the pandemic, and without public support, some low-income kids won’t be able to join this year.
Long Beach Pop Warner football has been a mainstay in the community for more than 40 years, teaching young people the power of teamwork, but last year due to the pandemic, all games were cancelled and so were the usual fundraising events.
“When the epidemic came out we couldn’t do anything, the kids couldn’t even go outside,” said Coach Jose Luis Silva.
Silva says many of the kids on the league’s nine teams (aged 5 to14) come from families that can’t afford the $375 registration fee, let alone the cost of equipment and uniforms for the football players and cheerleaders.
“Low-income parents -- a lot of single parents in my area, they’re losing their jobs. They’re barely getting enough money to pay car payment and rents,” he said.
Latoya Diamond is one of those single parents who says she couldn’t have afforded to send her three sons to play in the league without the fundraising help.
“That discount gave me a gracious, gracious help,” she said.
Diamond says for her youngest son especially, Pop Warner has been a godsend keeping him out of trouble.
“My 12-year-old has the tendency to be mischief sometimes. Being in Pop Warner keeps him busy... all he does when comes home is bathe, eat and sleep,” she added.
This year the non-profit Pop Warner League is turning to GoFundMe to try and raise $10,000 to make sure every child gets a chance to play.