David Sammons was not an overly involved athlete as a child. The third of 12 children, David played baseball briefly, but time wasn’t a surplus, thus his athletic career never got to flourish. He found other outlets to keep him busy, and at 28, became a father for the first time to his son, Brandon.
It was with Brandon’s birth David came to know Jesus and, as it’s often said, that changed everything.
David’s bride of 44 years, Cherryl, was an athlete, and when they welcomed their second child Allison, he realized a key way to connect and impact young lives was through sports. He went on to coach Brandon in three different sports up until high school, and in a rec basketball league until his son graduated. Cherryl coached Allison.
As an adult and father, David loved watching his children compete and was an exceptional athlete himself, playing church softball and carrying on his own father’s tradition of umpiring. He found sports to be the great connector to youth, and loved serving his own kids and their friends in this way.
A sense of nostalgia was born as David coached his children and began collecting sports cards. It became an endeavor he enjoyed, and shared with others, as he would give out sports cards to his team after games as prizes. “It really became kind of his ‘thing’,” shared David’s children, Allison and Brandon. “He loved spending time tracking them down, it became an outlet, of sorts.” Together, they spent weekends at card shows, searching for little treasures.
As the years passed and Brandon and Allison grew up, went off to school, and eventually left their family home, David continued to search out sports cards wherever he could. Sammons amassed a 250,000-card collection comprised of multiple sports. Those he kept were meticulously stored, labeled, and organized – a safely kept memoriam of weekend trips with his kids, and the sports that bonded their family together.
At 12:40am on July 21, 2020, David was called home to be with Jesus. As his family grieved his loss and celebrated his life, discussions of what to do with all the treasured sports cards started. After not much luck finding someone to purchase the collection, the Sammons family contacted Back2Back staff member, Steve McCollum. Steve is an avid sports enthusiast, collector of cards, and encourager to anyone he meets. Brandon knew Steve might have something special that could be done with all the cards his dad kept over the years.
“We honestly can’t remember all the details,” shared Brandon. “But Steve came to check out the cards, and eventually we landed on the same idea – they would be donated, and however they could help would be appreciated.”
David’s card collection started the Sports Cards for the Care Fund initiative at Joseph’s Cup, a local coffee shop in Mason, Ohio. As interest grew, donations were sent to Clutter2Care, where any purchase of cards would be directly donated to Back2Back’s Care Fund – a general giving fund benefiting vulnerable populations and providing holistic care to orphaned children around the world.
Recently, Sports Cards for the Care Fund celebrated its one-year anniversary. In the 365 days since it began, David Sammons’ collection was sold, but it sparked a national desire to give from what we have. People have sent in sports card donations from coast to coast.
Over $25,000 has been given directly back to holistic care for vulnerable populations in Mexico, Nigeria, India, Haiti, Cincinnati, and the Dominican Republic since May of this year. It happened all because one man found a way to connect with children over something nostalgic, simple, and ultimately life-changing – sports.
“My dad would be especially happy the funds are benefitting orphaned children,” shared Allison. “He loved kids! He always found the babies at family events to make funny faces at, and the grandbabies were always in his lap or arms.”
The Sammons family unknowingly started a legacy of giving when they first began collecting cards and taking care of them. It is a legacy now being passed on, in David’s name, reminding those who donate and purchase to keep a hand on the simple things – to remember from where we come, to understand our passions and gifts can benefit others – one life, with one card, at a time.