ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Every child deserves a good pair of cleats to play sports and a lack of equipment shouldn’t hinder that opportunity.

Well, thanks to Darry (Gator) Alton, the CEO of Gridiron University and the father of Cleats Across America, families have options. He’s creating a brotherhood, for young athletes, coaches, and families to come together to share their love of sports and opportunity.

“What happens in youth football, every year, a kid grows a bit bigger so that cleat just sits there somewhere, collecting dust, so we thought why not give that to the next kid? So a kid from St. George can send a kid cleats from Detroit Michigan,” says Alton.

He says Cleats Across America gives children a chance to play football, when maybe they wouldn’t have had the chance to, before an exchange.

“The opportunity to build relationships through football, through those cleats, so that kid gets an opportunity to play football, then he gets a chance to play with other kids,” says Alton.

With prices at an all time high and supply chain shortages, Alton says he’s hoping this can alleviate a struggle many families are facing.

“Right now we’re in the collection phase,” he says.

From now, until May 2023, Alton says they’re looking for cleat donations or financial support to put together 1,000+ cleats for distribution at the end of May.

“It’s not about football, it’s not about the Gridiron, it’s about the opportunity that a young person can be a part of something bigger than themselves. It doesn’t matter what color, race, or creed you are, if you’re on a team, you belong with something, it’s not about you no more, it’s about the team and I think it’s very important to grow that through life,” says Alton.