Leveling the Playing Field’s (LPF) founder, Max Levitt, conceptualized the organization’s model while working as the equipment manager for the Syracuse University football team as an
undergraduate student. Mr. Levitt was stunned at the massive amount of fully functional equipment being thrown away at the end of each season and became fixated on finding a way to put all the potential in these wasted materials to good use. Based on his volunteer experiences in a variety of inner cities, he was intimately aware of the lack of resources many schools and youth programs have when it comes to athletics. Due to lack of funding and low socioeconomic status, families, schools and youth programs in low-income neighborhoods are unable to offer athletics to their kids. During his senior year at Syracuse, working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management, Levitt decided to take action, researching the issue and engaging in a self-taught course on developing a non-profit. After graduation, Levitt took a sales associate job in D.C., but could not shake his passionate preoccupation with finding a solution to this widespread, community problem. While working full-time, Levitt continued to explore various approaches to combat the decline in youth sports participation in low-income neighborhoods and ultimately established a comprehensive business model for what is now LPF. Starting out of his parent's basement in 2013, Levitt began his journey as a one-man operation with a mission to bring these underserved youths the opportunity to participate in sports. Following a collection and distribution model, Levitt has grown the organization organically through grassroots efforts and word of mouth marketing. In four years, LPF has donated approximately $2M worth of sporting equipment to over 350 programs and schools in the D.C./Baltimore area, directly impacting over 80,000 kids. In 2015, Levitt moved LPF into a 4,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Silver Spring, MD in order to provide sufficient space for the continuously growing supply of equipment. Additionally, he has expanded LPF’s organizational capacity, bringing on two fulltime employees and engaging hundreds of volunteers. He is currently working to expand LPF’s impact even further by arranging the opening of a second warehouse in Baltimore, MD by the
end of 2017.