SquashCares, founded in 2014 by Sydney Soloway—then a multi-sport star and student leader at Dana Hall School and now attending Hamilton College—will continue to collect squash balls and equipment to benefit the broader community. The program will operate under the auspices of US Squash.
Soloway was inspired by an article she read about a ball-blanket program in Finland. She has two significantly developmentally disabled first cousins who struggle with hyperactivity and has seen first-hand the benefit of weighted ball blankets for autistic and ADHD individuals. She came to the conclusion she wanted to make her own ball blankets to help people with disabilities, and, because there are no squash ball recycling programs in the United States, to keep dead balls out of landfills.
The SquashCares equipment collection program was inspired when Soloway noticed how often she and other members of the squash community bought new squash sneakers or racquets when new items were released, but their current gear still retained its useful life. SquashCares donates used squash gear collected from the squash community.
Since SquashCares started in September 2014, it has collected over 16,200 dead squash balls. More than 500 volunteers at sewing events have sewn the balls into over 80 ball blankets. The blankets have been donated to autistic individuals and 12 organizations servicing hundreds of people with disabilities.
In this initial transition to US Squash, balls and equipment may be mailed directly to:
c/o US Squash
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10018