A Philanthropic Road Trip: The World FC Project

World FC logo

12,000 miles, 15 different countries, and one shared passion. World FC, a non-profit movement with a mission of bringing “the world closer together through the beautiful game of futbol”, is raising awareness for their World FC Project 2014.

The project is dedicated to providing under served children with safe, durable soccer equipment. We’re talking cleats, shin guards, balls, apparel, the works. You probably have some gently used soccer gear (in the back of your closet or rolling around in your trunk, maybe) that you have no idea what to do with. No more excuses! Here’s a chance to give it to a good cause. To get started, just contact World FC here.

With plans to traverse the 12,000 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they are calling it a “Philanthropic Road Trip”. The World FC team will be visiting a youth non-profit organization to hand-deliver the equipment in each of the ten American countries participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “The USA qualified ten times?”, you might be saying. No, they will be visiting Central and South American countries as well, including Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Ecuador, Honduras, Argentina.

Founded by Parker Heaps and Ryan Hendricks, World FC is about more than just doling out soccer equipment though. They have aspirations of social change, using the world’s most popular sport as a point of contact.

They can certainly use your help in improving the lives of children throughout these ten countries.

To donate, go here.

Also, check out their facebook and Twitter pages.

ThinkTaylor: Raising Awareness for TBI

ThinkTaylor banner

If you know anything about soccer, you’ve probably heard of Taylor Twellman before. The former Major Leaguer’s all-star career was cut short, when he had to retire due to complications from multiple concussions. While he’s still very much a part of the soccer world – announcing for ESPN and providing resources and tools to players and coaches – Taylor is also working to make a difference in the world, using his own injuries as inspiration. The ThinkTaylor Foundation is an educational organization dedicated to raising awareness on Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).

Concussions have been a common problem for many athletes in sports, including and especially soccer. The ThinkTaylor Foundation’s mission, according to its website, is to “create social change in the world of Traumatic Brain Injuries, by generating increased awareness, recognition, and education.” As we learn more about concussions, we have come to see the seriousness that TBI’s can have on a person’s health and on a person’s life. Twellman, for instance, suffered a concussion in 2008 that ended his professional soccer career.

Not only did the concussion end Twellman’s career, but it has completely altered his life. For years since 2008, Twellman has suffered from post-concussion syndrome (PCS), symptoms that occur after concussion diagnosis, such as dizziness and headaches. This is a commonality for many athletes who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the athlete that suffers. When friends and family cannot visibly see an athlete’s injury, it makes it difficult to assess the pain that the athlete is experiencing. The ThinkTaylor Foundation is determined to not only educate and advocate for those who endure TBI’s, but to also provide support and compassion to the athletes and families directly affected by the injury.

Concussions, as we have come to find out through sciences and through awareness programs like ThinkTaylor, are incredibly serious injuries. The organization reminds athletes to know the symptoms and to recover fully before returning to the game. It’s important to seek proper treatment if you have experienced any forceful contact to the head and are experiencing any concussive symptoms.

For more information about ThinkTaylor and to learn more about concussions, visit the website here: http://thinktaylor.org/
To donate, click here: http://thinktaylor.org/howtohelp.html

Street Child World Cup: The Road to Rio

SCWC teams

When we were kids, we used to dream about the day we could play in the World Cup. We would envision the day that we stepped out onto the pitch in front of thousands of people representing various countries throughout the world, and playing the game of our lives. Maybe your dream was short lived. Maybe you have achieved that dream. Maybe that dream will still come true.

For some kids, that dream may never turn into a reality. Street Child World Cup, an initiative of the charity Street Child United based out of the UK, is a movement to give children who work and live on the streets a chance to achieve their dreams.

Founded in 2010, Street Child World Cup is a global campaign that provides protection and opportunity to street children all over the world, allowing them to exercise rights that all children deserve. Sure, there are language barriers, there are differing circumstances, and each child is different; but Street Child World Cup offers – through the common love of football – a way to break the International barriers and challenge negative perceptions of boys and girls that have no choice but to live and work on the streets in the country he or she is born.

This year, marks the second-ever Street Child World Cup, and the game will take place just ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Street Child World Cup will unite teams from up to 20 countries all over the world, including the United States, England, Egypt, Kenya, among many others.

SCWC 2010 winners

How are the teams formed, you may ask? All of the teams are extracted from a network of amazing projects from each country represented in the Street Child World Cup, campaigning for the rights of the participating street children. Some of the partners include: Street Soccer USA, Casa Alianza Nicaragua, Umthombo Street Children, and many other outstanding projects.

The ultimate goal of the initiative is to make sure each and every street child’s voice is heard, and that they will have a chance to achieve their dreams by playing in their own World Cup. It’s more than just a game.

SCWC at Arsenal

To donate to Street Child World Cup, click here: http://streetchildworldcup.org/donate-now/

Check out their Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/streetchildworldcup

Visit their website here: http://streetchildworldcup.org/

Juggle For Kids with Roundball Fundraising

Juggle for Kids

All around the world, fundraisers are put on to support various charities and organizations, but how many break Guiness World Records at the same time? Based in Australia, Roundball Fundraising is organizing an event called Juggle For Kids. The idea is to get 1,000 people in one place all juggling soccer balls simultaneously, thus setting a Guiness record and raising money for Team UNICEF in the process.

The event will be held May 10th, 2014 at the Darebin International Sports Centre. Soccer personalities and pro players will be in attendance and there will be prizes to be won. If you want to go, you have to register, though. You can do that here.

Unicef logo

If you haven’t heard of UNICEF, you really should know about what they are doing for children all around the world. The United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund was created in 1946 to assist countries ravaged by World War II. Since then, UNICEF has been providing humanitarian and developmental help to children in developmental countries across the globe. You may recognize them from FC Barcelona’s jerseys. The Spanish football club wears the UNICEF logo on their shirt and donates to them annually. This works the opposite way that sponsorships usually do – which speaks to Barca’s commitment to UNICEF as a partner.

Unicef Barca jersey

Let’s say, for instance, you don’t live in Australia. That’s cool, you can still donate to the cause, of course. Go to UNICEF’s donation page and get involved that way.

The USPSA: Teaching Us to Be Powerful

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Soccer players are amazing. They have to run miles throughout every game and practice. Their footwork is fancier than caviar during a sunset cruise, and their shots can be so powerful, no one would want to stand in front of their fire.

Every time we play this beautiful sport, it’s amazing because we have the ability to use our legs and our feet in ways that many people cannot. The United States Power Soccer Association is changing that. It’s a way for soccer players that don’t have the ability to use their legs to be able to play this wonderful game.

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Power Soccer was designed for athletes that use power wheelchairs. Disabilities include quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy, among others. Using their power wheelchairs, two teams of four athletes spin-kick a 13 inch ball in an attempt to score goals, as one would in a traditional game of soccer.

Believe it or not, the sport has been around since the 70’s – first developed in France. The United States adopted the sport in the early 1980’s, and has been growing ever since. There are international competitions, national associations, and local community events.

Just like able-bodied soccer players, Power Soccer athletes must dribble and pass the ball in an effort to carry the ball down court. Athletes score by “spin-kicking” the ball past the goalkeeper, past the goal line, into the goal. Similar to the traditional game, red and yellow cards are utilized when fouls occur. The game also employs goal kicks and corner kicks in the same way as a traditional game of soccer.

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Power Soccer is an inspiring sport that teaches us that soccer players aren’t dubbed great just because they can run miles, dribble the ball down the field using their fancy footwork, and kick the ball past the goalkeeper. It doesn’t matter if you can walk, run, or kick. Power Soccer players show us that there are soccer players that are dubbed great by using their skills set to accomplish the same goals; even though they can’t walk, run, or kick. What these athletes accomplish in wheelchairs is something that able-bodied athletes would have a hard time doing.

Power Soccer players are powerful athletes and they teach us that no matter our barriers, we can accomplish our goals.
To donate to the United States Power Soccer Association, click here: http://www.powersoccerusa.org/get-involved
To learn more about the USPSA, visit the website: http://www.powersoccerusa.org/

Changing Lives Through the Power of Soccer