Our vision

is for all kids in under resourced communities in the Chicagoland area to have alternatives to gangs and violence through organized sports.

Our mission

is to provide quality sports gear and resources to schools and organizations who lack the funding to provide safe and successful sports programs.

Our values

are based on the belief that there are life-changing benefits for youth who engage in sports and physical fitness.

Our Impact

We partner with over 230 athletic programs

The Sports Shed works with non-profit organizations in under resourced communities throughout Chicago and the suburbs who struggle to offer athletic programs with little to no budget. The Sports Shed serves public, charter, and private schools in addition to organizations like after school programs and park districts. Youth sports are on the decline in urban areas due to the high cost of uniforms, footwear and equipment necessary to outfit a team. The Sports Shed develops long term partnerships with the organizations we serve to increase athletic opportunities for kids.

Chicago Schools

Academy of Scholastic Achievement

Acero Charter Network
of Schools (15 campuses)
– Archer Heights (3 campuses)
– Avondale
– Brighton Park (3 campuses)
– Gage Park (3 campuses)
– Galewood
– Humboldt Park
– Little Village
– Pilsen
– Rodgers Park

Amandla Charter
High School

Ariel Community School

Association House
High School

Chicago Bulls
College Prep

Chicago Hope
Academy High School

Chicago Tech Academy

Christ the King Jesuit
College Prep

CICS Basil Charter Elementary

Corliss High School

Corliss STEM High School

Curie High School

Dodge Academy Elementary

DRW College Prep

Dyett High School

Farragut Career Academy
High School

Frassati Catholic Academy

Frazier Prep High School

Gary Comer College Prep
High School

Gary Comer Middle School

Hales Franciscan

Harper High School

Holy Trinity High School

Hope Institute
Learning Academy

Horace Mann Elementary

Horace Mann High School

Horace Mann School

Immaculate Conception

Instituto Health and Sciences Career Academy

Intrinsic High School

Johnson College Prep

Kenwood Academy High School

Legal Prep Charter Academy

Leo High School

Lindblom Math and
Science Academy

Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School

Martha M. Ruggles
Elementary School

Mary E. Courtenay Language Arts Center

Mary Lyon Elementary School

Mather High School

Morgan Park High School

Morton School of Excellence

Muchin College Prep
High School

Next Level Kids Program

Noble Academy

Noble Street College Prep
High School

Our Lady of Tepeyac Elementary

Our Lady of Tepeyac
High School

Paul Revere Elementary School

Perspectives Charter –
High School of Technology

Perspectives Charter – ITT Math and Science Academy

Perspectives Charter – Leadership Academy

Perspectives Charter –
Middle Academy

Perspectives Charter – Rodney D. Joslin Campus

Phillip Murray Elementary/Middle

Plato Learning Center

Richard T. Crane Medical Prep High School

Ruggles Elementary

Sacred Heart School 96

Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy High School

Saucedo Scholastic Academy

Sealy Elementary

Shields Elementary

South Shore International College Prep

St. Bruno School

St. Helen Catholic School

St. Mathias School

St. Micheal the Archangel

St. Pius V School

St. William School

Tarkington School of Excellence

Theodore Roosevelt
High School

Thornton High School

UIC College Prep

ATHLETIC LEAGUES

1 World Sports

360 Sports Academy

A Ray of Hope on Earth

Black Yankees

Brainerd Park Bengals

Cameo Legends Baseball

Chicago Hitters

Chicago Lions Rugby

Dixmoor Vikings Football

Dream Chasers Basketball

Ernie Radcliffe Baseball League

Ford Heights Baseball

Greater Good Foundation

Harvey Little League

Humboldt Park Little League
Fast-­pitch Softball

I Will I Can Ice Program

Jeffery Manor AAU

KAOS Foundation (5 programs)
– Football
– Baseball
– Basketball
– Track
– Cheer

Lady Reign/Fusion Basketball

Lawndale Investments Basketball

Leading Lady Basketball

Lil Dawgs Basketball

Lil Dawgs Football

Lindblom Park District

Lost Boyz – Girls Fast-­pitch Softball

Lost Boyz Baseball

Near North Raiders

Near West Little League

Near West Side CDC

New Beginnings Camp

Pink Lady Ballers Basketball

Progressive Trojans Football

RA Black Elementary

Riverdale Jaguars (Riverdale Foundation)

Roberto Clement Little League
of Humboldt Park

Roseland Vols

Rosemoor Little League

Rosenbloom Park District

Tomlisen Youth & Athletic Foundation

West Lawn Little League

Westside Baseball

XS Tennis

YOUTH PROGRAMS

Altgeld Park

America Scores Chicago

Anointed Scholars

Austin Community Center

Austin Community
Family Center

Because I Care

Beyond The Ball

Boys and Girls Clubs
of Chicago (4 locations)
– Little Village
– Logan Square
– Louis L. Valentine
– Martin Luther King Dr. Jr.

By The Hand Club
for Kids (4 locations)
– Altgeld-­Murray
– Austin
– Englewood
– Cabrini Green

Cabrini Connections

Chicago Hopes
For Kids (5 locations)
– Cornerstone
   Community Outreach
– House of Good Shepherd
– Lena Washington
– Madonna House
– Roseland Christian Ministries

Chicago Training Center

Chicago Youth Centers

Chicago Youth Centers – Fellowship House

Crusher Club

Faithful Few

Girls in The Game

Hamdard Center

INTRSCT Ministries

Jane Adams Hull House

Kids Off the Block

Knowing Your Worth

Living Hope Church

Love to Serve/Tuley Park

Lydia Home

Men in Action

Mercy Home For Boys

R-City

Ring of Hope

Safe Alternatives
for Teens and Youth

St Martin De Porres Church

Sunshine Gospel Ministries

The Ace Project

The Support Group

Youth Outreach Services

BEYOND CHICAGO

SUBURBAN SCHOOLS
& PROGRAMS
Adopt-­a Family Program

AJK Katzenmaier School

Boys and Girls Club of
Lake County – North Chicago

Boys and Girls Club of
Lake County – Waukegan

Calumet City Wildcats

Cristo Rey St. Martin
College Prep

Eternal Light of Maywood

Fellowship Housing

Arden Shore Child
and Family Services

Foss Park District –
North Chicago Foundation
Skate Ministry

Isglasia Bautista
Emanual – Waukegan

JAMS Sports
Program – Waukegan

Lambs Farm

Larkin Center

Learn Charter School Campus 6

Frassati Elementary

Heart of the City Soccer

Maryville Academy

Joliet Celtics

Maywood Park District

McCall Elementary

Learn Charter 10 Elementary

My Joyful Heart

Neal Math and Science Academy

North Chicago Baseball Camp

North Chicago
Community Partners

My Father’s Business

North Chicago High School

Omni Youth Services

Passion Outreach

PAV YMCA Berwyn

Zion Alternative Program

Orchar Village Special Olympics

Waukegan Middle Schools
–Daniel Webster Middle School
–Jack Benny Middle School
–Miguel Juarez Middle School
–Robert Abbott Middle School
–Thomas Jefferson
  Middle School

NATIONAL
Dr. Earl J. Leonard
High School – Ruskin, FL

Impact Ministries – Evansville, IN

Sport Wayne – Fort Wayne, IN

INTERNATIONAL
Army of the Kind – Haiti

Gear 4 Goals

H. E. D. A. C. – Honduras

Juna Amagara – Uganda

Kids Alive International/
Christ the King

Baseball Academy –
Dominican Republic

Project Winter Camp Jamaica

Soccer for Zambia

Warm Blankets – Camodia

Willow Creek Global Partners

The Sports Shed’s Response to COVID-19

200 boxes of food

transported to food pantries for local families

700 masks

distributed to partner organizations and homeless shelters

Sports Equipment

700 pieces for virtual coaching and at-home training

Collaborating

with other youth sports organizations to determine safest ways to get kids back in the game

Dear Friends, Supporters and Partners,

Now more than ever we understand the importance of sports. We feel the loss of kids not being able to play and compete. We miss cheering for and participating in sports of all kinds and at all levels.

But most importantly, we recognize that many around the world are facing sickness, hardship and grief due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to each of you in this time of uncertainty and loss.

At the Sports Shed we are working with our partner organizations to meet the immediate and changing needs in the community while actively preparing for and looking forward to the return of youth sports. We are thankful for the support we have received that enables us to maintain organizational stability during this difficult time. We know and are anticipating that the need for our services will be greater than ever in the coming months as we all rebuild. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for the latest updates of what we’re doing.  

Sports develop perseverance, fortitude, self-discipline and team spirit. The current pandemic gives us the opportunity to put those characteristics into practice.

Thank you for your continued support of The Sports Shed. We look forward to celebrating with you on the other side of this.

Stay healthy and safe,

Tina Sernett
Executive Director

WE MAKE MIRACLES HAPPEN

Thanks to The Sports Shed for all the baseball equipment. Without it, our school wouldn’t have had a team this season.

—Ron Fugger, Baseball Coach
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy

Sarah E. Goode STEM High School opened in 2012 on the South-side of Chicago with basketball and baseball as the only sports offered. The Sports Shed started working with their part-time Athletic Director in April 2013 to help launch a football program by fall with a $3,000 athletic budget. They had a field but no equipment. Football helmets alone would cost nearly $10,000! The Sports Shed found partners like Sports 11 in Libertyville and Rust-Oleum Corporation to provide the equipment needed including new Riddell football helmets!

Equipment was delivered in time for July practice and allowed the team to compete in the Fall 2013 season. Three years later, with continued help from The Sports Shed, the school has hundreds of student athletes and 26 girls and boys teams. The sports offered are soccer, volleyball, softball, baseball, swimming, basketball, wrestling, track/cross country, and cheer. The football program has expanded to three levels: Freshman, JV and Varsity!

Tina Sernett

Founder & Executive Director, Board Member

Inspired by my passion for sports

Tina Sernet founded The Sports Shed, an organization whose mission is to provide sports related resources to kids who have limited opportunities in the Chicago area. Since 2009, they have distributed over $2 million worth of quality gear to over 230 schools and athletic programs. This helps schools start new sports programs,  increases participation and elevates the level of play. The Sports Shed has launched football teams, provided access to tennis instruction, started softball programs, and supplied gear to countless soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball leagues.  

Tina’s passion for sports and equipment started early as her dad came from a large family of sports fanatics and he introduced her to playing softball , basketball, tennis and more. After spending time in her uncle’s sporting goods store and learning about a variety of sports, she was intrigued by all the gear coming out on the market that could enhance athletic performance. Her first job was in a local tennis shop and later moved on to an early career as a buyer for several Athlete’s Foot stores.  

When Tina became a mother of two student athletes in the affluent suburbs of Chicago, she recognized the over abundance of resources for youth sports that skyrocketed in the early 2000’s. Parents and schools afforded kids with the latest and greatest equipment and facilities in hopes to ensure ultimate success. What also became clear as she researched low-income urban areas of Chicago, is the vast disparity between the amount of opportunities and resources available to literally tens of thousands of kids. Hundreds of Chicago schools had little to no funding or space needed to provide athletics and physical education. 

With conviction and compassion Tina put her faith into action and became determined to bridge this equity gap. With personal experience of benefiting from sports in a multitude of ways, it became clear that sports opportunities would give great alternatives to the negative influences like gangs and violence in Chicago’s vast areas of poverty.  The love of Christ and the core belief that ALL people matter to God has been Tina’s driving force in creating a viable solution and an impactful organization that leverages resources to gear up thousands of kids for a better future!

Our Staff

Sherry Arthur

Director of Development

Ty Young

Program Director

Jerry Graybosch

Controller

Board of Directors

TINA SERNETT

FOUNDER
Executive Director
The Sports Shed
2009

TOM REED

CHAIRMAN
Former President and COO
Rust-Oleum Corporation
2014

JEFF RAGAN

VICE CHAIRMAN
Director Internal Audit
W.W. Grainger
2018

MARY GIFFORD

TREASURER
Senior Tax Manager
Mowery & Schoenfeld
2019

MAR’QUONE EDMONDS

Athletic Trainer
Quest Performance Training
2020

LAWRENCE JACKSON

Athletic Director
Gary Comer College Prep,
Founder
Lady Reign Basketball
2020

BRIAN SCANLON

Vice President of Talent & Acquisition
Coyote Logistics
2019

DON SWANSON

Wealth Advisor
Thrivent
2014

MORGAN WALDRON

Business Development Manager
Arco Murray
2018

Ambassador Board

Leadership Team:

President: Jordyn Comitor
Frank Carl
Jacob Hage
Molly Madden
Charlotte Marks
Brooke Overgard

Brian Owens
David Quinn
Patrick Quinn
Caitlin Sernett
Sarah Shanders
Liz Skokna
Chris Valvassori

Social Team:

Taylor Beairsto
Beth Brichetto
Alec Brown
Kathleen Cook
Aubrey Coquillard
Sami Freibrun
Jenny Graham
Alex Gutierrez
Sarah Gutierrez

Mitchell Johnson
Justine Johnson
Steph Koontz
Nick Korhumel
Samantha Meccia
Chrystal Ragasa
Tara Rooney
Sue Sernett
Lisa VanHouten
Cecilia Wolf

Frequently Asked Questions

Who gets the sports equipment from The Sports Shed and what geographic area is served?

Thousands of inner-city kids in low-­income areas of Chicago, mainly on the south-­side and west-­‐side of the city, plus a few surrounding suburbs. We work directly with over 230 under-­resourced schools, after-­school/summer programs and sports leagues that struggle due to lack of funding. Curie High School and Shields Elementary School are among dozens of Chicago Public schools that benefit from The Sports Shed. We also support charter schools like Gary Comer College Prep and Perspectives Charter Network’s five campuses. America Scores Chicago and KAOS (Keeping Adolescence Off the Streets) Foundation are a couple examples of other programs that have received thousands of sports items from us.

How do you select the schools and programs that will benefit?

We set up a meeting with program directors and coaches who reach out to us so we can access their current resources, program challenges, and goals to determine if they are aligned with The Sports Shed’s mission and a fit for the services we provide.

From there, they submit a wish‐list and we offer consultation services so that we can find the best way to meet their program’s needs and get kids in the game.

How is The Sports Shed funded and what is your annual budget?

Our funding comes from a donor base consisting of three categories. Hundreds of individuals have invested, giving folks with a passion for sports and/or youth a chance to give personally in a meaningful way. Dozens of corporations have partnered with us on sponsorships and significant contributions. We have also received a grants from foundations such New York Life and The Grainger Foundation. Our Current annual budget is roughly $500,000.

How is the money I donate used?

Monetary donations allow us to quickly and efficiently source and acquire needed gear. Every dollar donated boosts our capacity to serve more kids and opens the door for us to support more schools and programs that are in need of our services. With your donations we are able to sponsor special projects, purchase gear that is not typically available through donations, offer expert consultation to program recipients, and make things happen that would not otherwise be possible. 

How do I make a donation?

Make a donation online using your credit or debit card.

Mail a check to The Sports Shed, 872 S. Milwaukee Ave. #112, Libertyville IL 60048.

Maximize your giving – Most companies support charitable giving through matching gifts and payroll deductions. The Sports Shed is already set up on several company giveback programs such as IBM, Grainger, ITW and Thrivent Financial. Check with your Human Resources Department!

Do you accept donations of new or used sports equipment?

Yes, donations of quality Sports equipment can help us serve more kids!

Our goal is to provide quality gear that makes kids feel valued and gives them the best possible chance at a successful athletic experience. You can donate new or gently used gear directly to our Shed or through Play It Again Sports. See our Donate Gear page for more information.

 

What items do you need most? Are there items you cannot use?

The most needed items are balls (baseballs, softballs, footballs, basketballs, soccer and volley balls, playground balls), mitts, bats, training/practice equipment, nets, athletic shoes/cleats and new athletic apparel.

We cannot accept worn out, damaged, mismatched or otherwise unusable items. We are committed to providing quality gear that makes kids feel valued and give them the best possible chance of success in their athletic experience.

See more information on our Donate Gear page.

Are donations tax deductible? Can I get a receipt?

The Sports Shed is a 501(c)3 non‐profit charity. Any monetary contributions are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt. Donations of goods and in-­kind services are also tax deductible and we will provide receipts upon request.

Can I go with you to deliver sports equipment?

Yes…by arrangement. In most cases, multiple deliveries are done in one day. It requires the willingness to either meet us at a particular location or if you want to “ride along”, it could take an entire day. It can be a great way to see the positive impact we have, so contact us directly if interested.

What kind of volunteer opportunities are available?

Volunteers are needed to help with periodic fundraising events such as The Sports Shed Golf Outing and the Chicago Marathon. If you are interested in helping, contact sherry@thesportsshed.org for more information.

Students can earn community service hours by volunteering on a one-time basis or to organize their school, team or group in doing a fundraiser to sponsor a team in need or initiate a collection drive.

More information about ways to get involved is on our Get Involved page

What are other ways to help?

Connect us – Sports equipment suppliers/retailers often have closeouts or excess inventor, which means partnerships with them is a win-win! We put the gear into hands of kids who need it and they receive a tax deduction for donated gear. We also can meet more needs with access to wholesale or special pricing from sports equipment dealers and manufacturers. Contact us to make an introduction with people you know in the industry! tina@thesportsshed.org

Where is your facility? Can I visit/drop off donations?

We have a new showroom space in the Washington Park neighborhood on the south side of Chicago where we are available to meet with recipients or supporters. Just give us a call to let us know you’re coming so we can be sure to show you around our new space!

 

5504 S. Michigan Ave. 

Chicago, IL 60615

For large donation drop off, we can arrange to meet you at one of our two warehouse spaces that are generously donated by our partners LightSource Unlimited and Mobile Lock & Safe.  Contact us to make arrangements. 

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