The members of the West Chester Henderson Wrestling team have gathered and donated 100 new wrestling shirts and used wrestling shoes, headgear and singlets to Beat the Street of Philadelphia, an organization that assists underprivileged children succeed through youth sports programs.
On Monday, Mike Nichter and Mike Medrow of the Wrestlers in Business Network, a non-profit organization in partnership with USA Wrestling, joined the Henderson wrestlers in presenting the items to Ben Reiter, the director of mentoring for Beat the Streets Philadelphia.
"Henderson coach Rob Beighley and reached out and offered a box of shirts that they wanted to donate," said Nichter who contacted Beat the Streets to facilitate the donation.
"We put out a donation box so they cleaned out all their old headgear and shoes and singlets," said Katrice Wilson, a wrestling booster parent. "Every year the kids do a full week clinic with their coach and part of that money bought these T-shirts and we were hoping to sell them at a tournament but with this year's issues we decided as a group and a team to donate. it's better they can be used than sitting in a box."
"I want to thank you guys and we're going to put your donations to really good use, it's an important thing you're doing, always think in life about what you can do for others, that's where real purpose comes from," said Reiter in accepting the donation.
He also took a few minutes to speak about the lessons he learned from wrestling helped shape him as an adult and he wants to do that for others who aren't so fortunate.
"That is what Mean Streets is about how we can help youth take those lessons they learn on the mat to everyday life and school, work, any task you can think of," Reiter said. "We do that through wrestling, we do that through the power of positive relationships, having mentors."
Reiter said Mean Street works with more than 1,100 kids in areas that need assistance the most, youth organizations and school districts that can't afford to have a wrestling program.
"We help pay for mats, competition fees and gear so that other kids can have the same experience you guys are having and the lessons you learn on this mat," Reiter said. "I want to thank you guys. We're going to put your donations to really good use, it's an important thing you're doing, always think in life about what you can do for others, that's where real purpose comes from." He said. "In those moments when things are tough, the things you're learning now on this mat, they're going to help you, not just now but they are going to help you ten years from now, it gives you the mindset to overcome in life, achieve in life and succeed."