On a hot morning last Saturday in Midvale, Utah something special, maybe even magical, happened. Kids and adults from a local refugee community and a nearby mainstream soccer club bonded over a love for the beautiful game.
Those who had generously gave. Those who needed gratefully received.
I think the greatest thing that happened is a deepening of the realization that though we refugees and mainstream Americans may look different, may speak different languages, and may come from very different backgrounds, we are MUCH more similar than we are different.
That realization is the intended magic of the mission of Refugee Soccer. We create moments of hope and happiness through soccer around the world. While this amazing gathering took me right back to numerous dusty and destitute villages in Ghana and Nigeria, I was reminded that there is a need and an opportunity to bridge gaps, to help others, and be simultaneously uplifted right here in our communities.
We are so grateful to the members of Cottonwood FC who donated gently-used soccer gear and clothing, cash, time, organizational skills, and effortless smiles to make this event so impactful. Big thumbs-up to Matt Nelson (below) who put to work his huge heart and tireless desire to do good in organizing this event. We are excited to do much more with you!
So, where do we go from here? At the event, I spoke with many kids and parents about joining mainstream clubs in the community, without having to worry about the cost and many said they would contact me. I truly hope they do as the impact of playing on the same team as kids who are different results in immeasurable positivity.
We are planning more events like this in Utah and beyond very soon. Email me to get involved.
So, was this event actually magic? No. It was special but the “magic” was really just individuals thinking outside of their own needs and giving to a moment that we created. The exciting news is that in many ways we are just getting started and can’t wait to make and share more impact very soon. Follow us on Instagram and stay in touch. Together we can, and will, build stronger, more inclusive communities around the U.S. with numerous and significant results for all.
Like this champ below, let’s get ready and GO! 👇