Attorney donates sports equipment to keep kids on the field and off the streets

Joshua Williams is donating equipment to the Bowsher football team, and plans to start a non-profit to expand that work.
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The recent uptick in gun violence in the city inspired a local man to get off the sidelines and get involved with the effort to change that. He’s focused on working with some of the kids in Toledo schools by donating sports equipment and supplies.

Joshua Williams came up with the idea after recently watching the football team at Bowsher High School practice. He hopes to one day be able to extend that help to all the city schools.

“It’s very easy for our kids to go down the wrong path,” Williams said.

Williams is a Toledo defense attorney who also spent 15 years on the sidelines coaching youth football in the city.

“Toledo is rebounding in a lot of ways, but it is being held down by gun violence and the violence among the young people,” he said.

Williams believes sports and school activities are a big part of the solution.

“It tugs at my heartstrings when I see a former player of mine in the courtroom, and I have to represent them,” Williams said. “To me, that means I somehow failed them as a coach. I often think what I could have done differently for that particular kid.”

Williams recently purchased some football equipment that will be given to players at Bowsher, and that’s just the start.

“The plan moving forward is to get more community organizers, businesses, and attorneys involved with the campaign,” Williams said. “We are calling the campaign Classroom over the Courtroom.”

Once the non-profit is established, Joshua wants to provide help to a number of schools in the district.

“We’re going to be contacting each school to see what they need,” he said. “I understand they’re expanding extracurricular activities at TPS, so we will provide support wherever we can.

This mission is personal to Williams. He was a student in the district.

“Our slogan is TPS Proud. That really means something when people who went through TPS come back and pay it forward,” said Linda Meyers, the Transformational Leader of Community Engagement for TPS.

Sports equipment and uniforms are expensive, so donations are a big help to the district. Meyers says the kind gestures aren’t lost on the students.

“Our students may not tell us every day, but they truly appreciate every penny donated to the schools, and every minute someone spends with them giving them encouragement and support,” Williams said.

Williams and some of his co-workers at Groth and Associates are in the process of setting up the non-profit. They expect to have it up and running in the coming months.

If you’d like to get involved, call the law office at 419-930-3030 and ask for Joshua.

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