K.I.D.S. (Knights Integrating Developmental Sports) is a nonprofit organization created by Joel Geier, to provide athletic equipment for underprivileged children around the Cedar Valley.
“I decided that I wanted to start a nonprofit organization to be able to make a difference,” Geier said. “I wanted to provide kids the same opportunities that I had.”
Geier’s inspiration came from his desire to give as many children the chance to enjoy sports as possible.
“I just wanted to be able to make a difference somehow and starting an organization like this was a good way to start,” Geier said. “Basically, I want to have a positive impact on as many kids as I can.”
Geier is currently president of K.I.D.S. and until recently, did much of the startup on his own.
Now he has the help of fellow Wartburg sophomore Heather Cole, a fitness management major. Cole noticed the organization on a Facebook page Geier had made and was motivated to become a part of the group.
“I thought this organization was inspiring,” Cole said. “So when he asked me to be vice president, I felt honored to be a part of it.”
The two have been working fervently together planning future fundraisers and upcoming events such as a raffle during the winter and a charity softball tournament in Geier’s hometown of Preston, Iowa next summer.
Geier decided on the acronym K.I.D.S. because of his connection with Wartburg and sees the community of Waverly as being an integral part of his organization’s future success.
“I picked the name because I believe that the Wartburg community can be very influential in the development of this organization,” Geier said.
The organization is currently selling bracelets and t-shirts to any interested person and will be hosting a walk later this spring on the Wartburg campus.
Donation boxes will be set up at the Waverly Wal-Mart and the College Square Mall in Cedar Falls.
Geier plans on using the donations to provide footballs, basketballs and soccer balls with plans in the future to take on bigger projects such as renovating gym floors and setting up new athletic fields.
However, his main goal is not a dollar figure or a set number of tangible items he plans on giving away, but rather making a difference in kids’ lives.
“I want to provide as many children as possible the chance to enjoy sports that may not have been previously able to do so,” Geier said.
For Cole, her motivation to help lies much deeper than giving out sports equipment.
“My goal is to start making a difference in others’ lives. First starting with Wartburg and Waverly, but eventually spreading to a bigger range, said Cole. “I love making children smile, so my job will be very rewarding.”