Used Soccer Equipment for Kenyan Orphans
Jake Budlow, Chatham High School senior and Varsity soccer player is conducting his third annual soccer gear drive which will conclude on December 7. Used gear, including soccer cleats, shin guards, uniforms, etc., should be dropped at 32 Mitchell Ave, Chatham Township (near Corpus Christi church).
Working with PeacePassers (www.peacepassers.org), collected gear will be going to the Aspire Mega Soccer Academy in Kisumu, Kenya. What makes this drive so important is that the academy is solely made up of orphans who lost their parents in 2007 during post-election violence.
“It’s hard to imagine what these children who have lost their parents feel every day,” said Budlow. “I can only hope that providing equipment so that these children can enjoy their favorite pastime gives them at least some feeling of joy. And because this gear is coming from people on the other side of the planet, maybe they will feel that they are not alone in this world and that people do care.”
Two years ago Budlow shipped nearly 200 pairs of cleats to children in Rwanda. Last year, nearly the same amount of cleats, plus shin guards, goalie gloves and uniforms were sent to start a soccer program where the Dali Lama is currently living in exile (Upper Dharamsala, a village in the mountains north of New Delhi).
Please consider dropping off your used soccer equipment at any time. There is a bin at the front steps. “It would be wonderful if the cleats, uniforms and shin guards were cleaned, but don’t let that stop you from bringing it. I’ll be ‘happy’ to clean it before shipping.”
This drive will end December 7 in the hope that the children can get it in time for the holidays.