SAN ANTONIO – An organization dedicated to serving low-income youth athletes is desperate for the return of its trailer full of football equipment after it was stolen from a secure storage facility.
The theft happened back in May, according to the San Antonio Junior Brahmas Sports Organization.
Lori Black, president of the SAJBSO, said the organization offers many activities for the youth in our community.
“We do tackle and flag football,” she said. “We also do track and there are cheerleaders as well.”
Black’s passion for the program starts deeply with the children.
“Every time they learn something, even if it is how to properly tackle, they get so excited,” Black said. “They turn around and start jumping up and down. They are so excited about everything. They want this program so bad. They love being outdoors. Covid had them all locked down for so long but even before that, they just wanted to be here because they love it.”
She and several other coaches have built such a strong relationship with their child athletes.
“They bond with their coaches and other families,” Black said. “They make life-long bonds with friends. Maybe some of them don’t have many friends at school but then they come here and they are brothers and sisters for life.”
Black said this theft was extremely devastating because most of the families they serve are low-income.
“It is expensive getting all of the gear we had for them,” Black said. “We had conditioning, practice and game-day gear in that trailer. Helmets, cleats, pads, a shadow man, tackling dummies. We had the little parachutes for the little ones to run with.”
In total, Black said it was about $10,000 worth of football equipment, which is enough to supply around 100 athletes.
Their trailer was one of three that was stolen from the Storage 4U Self Storage facility on Nacogdoches Road, not far from where they practice and play at Lady Bird Johnson Park.
“They showed me the video to see if I could identify our trailer,” Black said. “It was happening from like three in the morning. Apparently, the suspects went in, took one trailer, left and came back, took another trailer, left and came back, and then took ours and left. It was around seven in the morning.”
She said it breaks her heart that someone would steal from children like this.
“It just hurts,” Black said through tears. “I am very hurt. They obviously were able to cut all the locks open and see what was in there and they took it anyway. How do you…you see little cleats. We had cleats in there. These was children’s things.”
Black said fortunately, other organizations have reached out to offer their support and their coaches have been able to collect things that will at least supply them for conditioning training during their July practices.
She said this loss will not stop them from participating in this football season.
“We are going to do this. The community is going to do this.” Black said. “The sports world is going to do this. They are not going to stop us. They are not going to stop us from playing.”
This is the second time in three years the organization had its trailer stolen from a secure location. Black said she hopes the suspect or suspects responsible realize they are not only hurting their program, but also the children.
“Find God,” Black said. “Ask for forgiveness. I forgive them but they need some help. They need to figure it out. You don’t steal from children. You don’t.”
She also said she hopes this is a reminder to the community to continue helping youth programs in the city.
“Continue to support all youth organizations,” Black said. “They all struggle like we do. They all sponsor kids and rely on donations and sponsorship. Keep the kids all over going. All over going.
The organization is raising money and asking for donations. Those who would like to help can contact Black at (210) 639-7655.