ROYAL, Ill. (WCIA) — Instead of asking for birthday gifts for himself, one boy is asking for sports balls to donate to the Champaign Police Department. Kavin VanEtta just celebrated his 9th birthday, and he’s already collected more than 30 sports balls.
“Each year for my kid’s birthdays, once they get school-age, we ask that they pick an organization to donate to,” explained his mother Stephanie Hambleton. “This year, he saw all those videos on YouTube with the police officers donating basketball hoops and basketballs, so he kindof wanted to do the same thing,” she said.
When asked about why he chose the police department, VanEtta said: “They’re nice people, and they help people a lot.”
Vanetta will donate the balls next Friday. He wants officers to give them to children they see during their community policing efforts. The department prefers that people donate any sports balls they can, except for baseballs. They’ll accept them at the department in Champaign (82 E. University Ave). Vanetta also has a table set up in his yard in Royal where people can drop sports balls off.