Merced United FC Lends a Hand
Over the past couple months, I’ve been so blown away by the support of people we’ve encountered. Like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, there was a huge amount of support for the Haiti team after Vancouver and people across the country have been supportive of our first SULA tour. We have been fortunate enough to meet more people who are taking time out of their lives to help others. We just got connected with a team in Merced, Ca, who are involved in something called a PASSBACK program. This program gives an avenue for young people to find a way to help others. I met Coach Lance from Merced United FC through a search for teams around the area who would want to do a clinic. He explained to me that his U-16 team had collected a ton of cleats, uniforms, and more. After looking over some of the blogs from my experiences this past January with the Haiti team, he told me he and his girls have decided to donate all that they have collected to Haiti in exchange for a free Give Back clinic. Obviously we accepted.
As you can imagine, this made my heart smile. It’s so amazing to see young girls taking time out of their life to change the life of someone they don’t even know. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before in any blogs, but the first time I played with the Haiti team, I finally saw the luxuries I take for granted everyday. In the try out, there was a day that many girls got cut and were to head back to Haiti in the morning. This day was sort of surreal. As I passed by the coach’s room, I saw a pile of cleats. I didn’t understand. The coach explained to me that those were the cleats of the girls who got cut and were to be left there for others to use later. Again, I didn’t understand. Did they not have their own cleats? Were they using those cleats on loan? I was crushed, shocked, sad; all of the above. I wanted to give up my spot on the roster, to leave and bring back all the brand new cleats I’ve seen me and my college teammates stuff in their locker because we didn’t like the fit. I wanted to do something, anything, but all I could do was be sad for those girls and hope to do my best to win games for them and for Haiti.
So, to you girls who collected those cleats and the coach who reached out to make this all happen, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you know that you will affect a person’s life more than I could ever explain. I know that you have touched mine in just your willingness to help. We had a blast getting to know you the other week and wish you guys the best of luck in your high school seasons. We hope to meet more spectacular people like you!