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Game Changer : David Bass

By | Game Changers

David is a student-athlete who is hard-core about his academics. At age 14 he’s already planning to attend an eastern US Ivy League school like Harvard or Yale. When he’s not hitting the books, he’s hitting the pitch and doing what he loves most—playing the game of soccer.

A resident of Tokyo, Japan, David plays for his American school team in the forward, winger and midfield positions. “Dribbling and taking players on is what I really enjoy,” he said.

At the beginning of summer David dropped us a note and indicated that he wanted to do something to give back. His bar mitzvah was coming up and his Rabbi encouraged him to use it raise money for a charity. With a passion for The Beautiful Game, Charity Ball made perfect sense.

After defining a big goal of $2000, he went right to work—setting up an online campaign page and inviting people in his circle to donate.

He also invited friends and family to come to an organized event on the roof of his synagogue. Here’s where it gets really cool. David’s Rabbi has a soccer-loving dog named Peter. Believe it or not, Peter is an insane goal keeper. No lie, this dog can compete with the likes of De Gea, Buffon and Neuer.

David set up a couple small goal nets and gave his guests the opportunity to shoot on Peter. Guests simply needed to make a donation in any amount to get 5 shots. If you hit the net, you’d win a prize. You’d think it would be pretty easy to score on a dog. Not Peter. David said that Peter stopped almost every shot. Check out the video below to see Peter warming up against David.

When everything was said and done, David raised a total of $3,352—that’s 137 new soccer balls. “The word Mitzvah means doing something good for others. That’s what this project has been all about,” he said.

We asked David if he had any words of advice for other kids his age.

He went on to say, “No matter how young or old you are, you can always make a difference, even if it’s a small difference. A little thing can sometimes change the world for a person, and when you give, it can also change the world for you.”

One hundred percent!

David, thanks for helping make kids’ lives more beautiful. Our world needs more game-changers like you!

—Team Charity Ball

Closer to Their Dreams in Havana, Cuba

By | Ball Deliveries

In 2016, travel restrictions from the USA to Cuba were historically lifted, making it possible for Americans to visit. Wanting to make the most of this historic opportunity, Charity Ball courier, Ginger Lu, booked a flight and set out to make the world a little more beautiful for kids on the island nation.

Ginger Lu

By: Ginger Lu.
Ginger is a freelance writer located in Chicago, IL.

Walking through the streets of Old Havana, the first thing that caught my eye were the rows and rows of colorful, but decrepit houses, and then the sounds of street vendors selling their batido de mamey or guarapo, drinks made from sugarcane and guava fruits. I rounded one corner and found myself in an old abandoned parking lot, which graffiti artists had turned into a place where children come to play sports. Even on a hot summer day, there were many children of all ages playing a pick-up game of soccer with a ball made of newspaper and crushed soda cans tied up with a piece of twine.

I approached one of the youths, Carolos, an aspiring professional soccer player at eight years old who was watching his older brother Jaime play a game with his friends. He told me that they came to the park to play every day after school. The rising popularity of the sport in recent years can be explained by increased access native Cubans have with the rest of the world.  Both children and adults can be seen playing pickup games on empty alleys and streets, making do with what little they have. Soccer fever has caught and spread with the young men of the island nation. However, soccer balls are still hard to come by for the majority of players. Apart from government and military officials, the majority of the citizens of Cuba make salaries that equal our $20 a week. Carlos said that on some days, they would have a ball to play with. More often than not, they would have to wait at least an hour until one of the lucky kids that owned a ball arrived so that they could start a game. I put one of Charity Ball’s new soccer balls in his hands and told him,”para ti, de tus amigos en los Estados Unidos.” For you, from your friends in the United States. He shouted with joy and ran off to show his brother and their friends. Within seconds, I was surrounded by happy kids hoping to get their hands on one of these prized possessions as well.

Children in the United States take these simple moments for granted, but for a child growing up in poverty, these moments mean more to them than words can explain. Jaime told me that they keep up with their favorite players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and aspire to be like them one day. Having the necessary equipment to practice will help them get one step closer to their dreams. With increased travel to Cuba opening up from the United States, we can begin to make more of a difference as time goes on to positively impact futures for hundreds of children.

Soccer Love: Mozambique Ball Deliveries

By | Ball Deliveries

This past week my dad and his team partnered up with Drop4Drop from the UK and began a 30 well restoration project in Northern Mozambique.

They also brought along some soccer balls and were able to surprise a few kids.

Just wanted to say a quick thanks to all of you for your ongoing support and helping spread the soccer love one ball at a time.

Ethan King

By: Ethan King, Team Charity Ball

Hope Rising in Kenya

By | Ball Deliveries

Over the holidays, Margaret Mongare, a student at Stanford University, delivered soccer balls on behalf of Charity Ball to the Hope Raisers Football Association at the Baba Dogo primary school in Nairobi, Kenya. The school provides free primary level education to children from the slum neighborhoods that encompass the school. Most individuals living there earn less than a dollar a day; gangs and drugs are prevalent due to a lack of proper peer support and mentorship. The school has a football field where students practice soccer.

Margaret said, “Meeting the kids was amazing and it reminded me how we should never take for granted mentoring kids growing up in poverty. An interaction can inspire someone, and a piece of advice can light up their path.” She went on to say, “We can forget that we still have a lot to offer others in terms of our time and intellectual resource,”  and that it’s the people who work hard and who live with courage and hope that really do change the world. We couldn’t agree more!

Margaret has worked with this community for the past 6 years and hopes that the new Charity Balls can contribute towards making the world a better place for the kids in the area.

Charity Ball sends it special thanks to Margaret for her outstanding work and contribution. Because of her efforts, children in poverty now have a reason to dream big.

Charity Ball Welcomes Hutt Trucking

By | Get Involved, Media, News

Charity Ball is proud to welcome Hutt Trucking as a 2017 corporate sponsor.

Located in Holland, Michigan Hutt Trucking specializes in supply chain services—offering trucking, deep frozen warehousing, and third-party logistics services.

“Mr. Hutt is a great business man and person. He cares about people and wants to leverage his business to make a difference. We’re excited to have Hutt Trucking on board for 2017 and look forward to developing our relationship even more in the future.”

-Ethan King, Charity Ball Founder

0034ethanking2016

Gaming For Change

By | Uncategorized

Sports have always provided Michael Bush & Jack Wilson of South Lakes High School, in Reston, VA great memories and experiences that have helped to shape their lives. So when it came time for both to pick a project for their MYP (Middle Years Project), the Charity Ball was a natural fit. Bush is a member of the BRYC Elite Soccer Club and Wilson plays for South Lake’s basketball and lacrosse teams. Both are also active video game players. Having seen the success South Lakes junior Bardia Kimiavi had in raising money for the Charity Ball last year through a video game tournament, Bush & Wilson jumped at the chance to continue the tradition.

“Bardia showed us the ropes, and we made it a goal to exceed last year’s total of $500” Bush said. “We have a real competitive group in the junior and sophomore classes, which helped in getting entrants” said Wilson. The two decided on holding both a FIFA and 2k tournament that raised $850 and saw participants ranging from freshman to alumni. “It feels good to give soccer players from parts of the world that don’t have the opportunities we have been provided a chance to play the game they love” Bush said. “There were some close games and the rooms got hyped, you really felt the sense of community” said Wilson. For Jon McNamara, the South Lakes teacher who supervised the tournament, that was the most powerful part. “As I watched one of the games that went to overtime, I realized we had seven years of students together in one room for a great cause. Our school is built off community and the theme once a Seahawk, always a Seahawk and I really felt that brotherhood that day”.  Towards the end of the day Wilson said a few freshman came up to him wondering if they could continue the tournament next year for their MYP. “It looks like charity video game tournament is here to stay” he said.  “It feels great to tie in two big parts of our life, sports and gaming and help out people at the same time”. It’s clear the partnership with Charity Ball has helped out some deserving kids and provided some new memories for these two student athletes.

Huge thanks to Michael and Jack for using what you love to do to make a difference!

Charity Ball Cyber Monday

By | News

Don’t miss the Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale! All Charity Ball T-Shirts and Scarves will all be 25% off through 11:59 pm on Tuesday, November 29. Use the Promo Code: STUFFED to receive your discount at checkout. Happy shopping!

How to Enjoy a 0-0 Game

By | Soccer Culture

Before I get too into this enthralling topic I would like to thank Manchester United Football Club and their enigmatic manager, Jose Mourinho, for the inspiration. With the source of this article clearly defined, I can say that it is very difficult to enjoy a game like the one we saw on Monday between Liverpool and Man U.

Personally, I was a Jose Mourinho fan when he was at Chelsea the first time, and a little bit less during his second spell. This is mainly because he is afraid of nobody, and is not afraid to speak his mind to the press, or poke fun at an opposing manager, *cough* Arsene Wenger *cough*. That being said, he seems to have turned up his trash talk now that he is Manchester and turned down his desire to play attacking football. At any previous club he has managed he was known for parking the bus on occasion, and it is typically effective at killing the game.

That is what made Monday such a sad game. Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp have been one of the most dynamically scoring teams in the Premier League since his arrival, and with Man U assembling the most expensive team of stars IN THE LEAGUES HISTORY it was a mouthwatering match up. So when Jose parked the most expensive bus in England in front of their goal at Anfield you could feel the disappointment. The drab game finished 0-0 with the only highlights being a couple of David De Gea saves, and Mourinho was quoted after the game saying, “It was a good performance and the result is acceptable.”

With another big game coming up for United and Mourinho, at Chelsea on Sunday at 11am (EST), will there be a tactical change? Or will the irony of Mourinho parking the bus at Stamford Bridge take over? From the fans point of view, I sincerely hope the game is less defensive and more open.

So my advice for enjoying a 0-0 game is; you don’t. Take a nap like I did.

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball