When Owen Goldberg ’21 and his family moved into a new house last year, he had to figure out what to do with the family’s basketball goal. Owen, who was no longer playing much basketball by that point, realized this was likely a problem shared by others around Dallas. With encouragement and support from his family, Owen decided to create Nets for Neighbors, a charity that provides new and used basketball goals and equipment to those who cannot afford them.
“I just kept the idea going because I was confident there were a lot more people out there with a similar situation: just a basketball hoop they didn’t use collecting dust and that could be put to better use,” Owen told People Newspapers in a recent interview.
Owen’s family provided guidance and support, helping him file the paperwork with the state and the IRS to form a non-profit, as well as advice on ways he could distribute donations.
“There are so many chances to change the world even if you think you are starting small,” said Nancy Goldberg, Owen’s mother and St. Mark’s Student Store Manager.
Owen also approached Jorge Correa, St. Mark’s Community Service Director and Spanish teacher, who connected him with potential beneficiaries, like the West Dallas Community Church. So far, Nets for Neighbors has collected and gifted more than 30 basketball goals to the church, where they are then distributed to those in need.
Nets for Neighbors recently received additional financial support that allowed them to purchase and donate a significant amount of new basketball equipment to the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy (BOMLA) in Oak Cliff. Earlier this month, Owen met with BOMLA Principal Rashad Jackson, who told him the equipment will be gifted to graduating seniors, students with good attendance and grades, and a local elementary school.
“I have been able to be certain that what I am doing is helping people and making a strong impact on their lives,” Owen said. “The kids who receive the hoops have been ecstatic about it and there’s no better feeling than making a difference.”