NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Rhiannon Potkey is making sure everyone has the opportunity to play sports, no matter the obstacles.
“Do we pay the light bill or do we get him new basketball shoes? I couldn’t imagine as a parent making that decision because you know how much it means to these kids,” said Potkey. “I just thought, if there’s any way I can try to alleviate that one decision for that one month.”
So, she created Goods4Greatness — an organization decades in the making.
“I had teammates from different walks of life we’ll call them, some of them really rich, some of them poor, and I always saw the really rich ones have all the new stuff and the poor ones wear the same cleats for like 12 years and I always thought, ‘why cant you just give your stuff.’ I always had this idea in my head like let’s just give all our old stuff to these kids.”
And that’s what it’s all about.
“It was always something that was deep in my soul that I always wanted to do, and I just felt unfulfilled until I had at least tried it.”
As a sportswriter, Potkey has covered athletes at all different levels and backgrounds, but more importantly, she’s seen how much of an impact sports can have on a person.
It is the great equalizer.
“Sports brings all the races and socioeconomic backgrounds together and many life skills are born of it,” she said. “You just want everyone to experience that and then you see like just some of those stories that you cover and are the most remarkable, are the ones that come from very little. The ones that overcome all the obstacles and you learn about all their obstacles and you think, if you could just make a little part of it smoother for them. Or, maybe some kids never got to get there because they literally didn’t have a ball, so they didn’t start playing, so you wonder what could’ve happened to a kid.”
From reaching out to Power 5 programs with big apparel contracts, to a neighbor down the street with unused equipment sitting in their garage, Potkey will find a place for all of it.
“Twenty bucks here, 100 dollars here, I buy kids brand new stuff because I really believe that kids deserve new things.”
And, she will show you exactly where it goes.
“Instead of just donating it blindly, I’ll make sure it goes to someone I know who’s going to use it, and then I’ll let you know who its going to. I usually share pictures of people who they donated to.”
Someone on the receiving end of Goods4Greatness, former Pearl Cohn Athletic Director Terry Cole, now Assistant Principal at Whites Creek, said not only is the financial need greater as a result of the pandemic, but kids need access to sports now more than ever.
“It’s a chance for a getaway through all the turmoil that kids have been going through and just to know that you have the proper equipment when you arrive on site, that right there speaks volumes to someone who may not have it.”