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Game Changers

“ALL IN” Color Run

Ten-year-old Ben Stone has had the nickname “All-in Ben” for years, because of his intense passion for whatever his interest is at the moment. With his birthday just around the corner, his parents, Matt & Laura Stone tossed out the idea of hosting a traditional birthday party. However, Ben had other thoughts.

Ben Stone Charity Ball Game Changer

Channeling that “all-in” drive, Ben came up with the idea of doing a “color run” birthday event that would raise money to help kids around the world. Ben plays and loves the game of soccer. The thinking was to use his birthday event to raise money and give kids in disadvantaged situations new soccer balls.

Matt and Laura did some googling and came across Charity Ball—a soccer charity that does exactly what Ben had envisioned. It was a great fit. The fact that Charity Ball was created 9 years ago by a 10-year-old boy (like Ben) made it even better.

With the help of his parents, he set up a Charity Ball campaign fundraising page with a big goal of raising $2500. The Stones then sent out invitations and spread the word about Ben’s birthday color run with a link to his online page. Ben asked people to donate to his Charity Ball campaign in lieu of birthday gifts. The response was so overwhelming that the Stones increased the fundraising goal 2 more times.

Charity Ball color run fundraiser

After doing some research on how to organize an amateur color run, and mapping out a local neighborhood course, the big day finally arrived. When the kids showed up and registered, they received a sweatband and sunglasses for eye protection. Matt & Ben shared about Ben’s initial idea for the color run and also more details about Charity Ball. Everyone was reminded that this was a RUN and not a race—the winners are the kids around the world who will receive new soccer balls.

Charity Ball color run

Color Run participants before running on the loop.

About 50 kids had a blast participating in the color run. Lots of parents stayed and volunteered to work one of the six color throwing stations on the 1 mile loop course.

Charity Ball color run
Charity Ball color run

Ben’s birthday color run raised an astonishing $4,335 which will provide 173 new, quality soccer balls to children around the world.

“We have been blown away by the individual number (over 100) of donors, and Ben is so excited about all the soccer balls that will be donated!” said Laura Stone.

color run family

It’s absolutely amazing the kind of impact kids can have when they decide to do something about the needs of others. Ben, we’re incredibly proud of you. Thanks for giving back. Thanks for inspiring us. Thanks for making kid’s lives, and the world more beautiful.

—Team Charity Ball

ps: Special thanks to all of you who rallied around Ben to make this event extra special in so many ways.

York Dukes Give Back

“You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.”

Ethan Oder and Jack Musial are two high school student-athletes that attend and play soccer for York High School in Elmhurst, IL. Because soccer has always been such a big part of their lives, they decided to use the game to give back.

Together, they were able to rally their high school community around their Charity Ball fundraising campaign. They began by printing out flyers and posting them around town to create awareness and spark interest. Then, they spoke with their high school soccer parents and campaigned for donations at the parent meeting.

Their original goal was to raise $2,500. However, they blew that goal out of the water and were able to secure a total $4186 for Charity Ball to give soccer balls to kids around the world.

I was able to speak with Ethan and Jack on what they had hoped to achieve from this project. Their response was, above all, they wanted to use their resources and efforts to give kids who love the game just as much, the same opportunity to enjoy the game with their own ball.

I personally want to say congratulations and thank you to Ethan, Jack, the York Dukes soccer team, and the community for caring and committing to action. As demonstrated with the financial amount raised, the sky is the limit when you put your shoulder into your goals.

Ethan King

By: Ethan King, Charity Ball Founder

Sports, Gaming, and a Better World

Charity Ball FIFA Tournament Fundraiser

When the time came for South Lakes High School (Reston, VA) sophomores Aria Kimiavi & Marcus Miles to decide on an idea for their MYP (Middle Year’s Project) it didn’t take long. That’s because their older brothers Bardia Kimiavi (Northwestern University) and Devin Miles (Catholic University) had organized the first Charity Video Game tournament at South Lakes three years earlier.  “I remember Bardia being so excited he had found a charity that provides soccer balls to third world countries,” Aria said.  Sports and gaming have long played a major role in these students’ lives, so they decided to continue the tradition with fellow sophomores and teammates Oliver Giaon, Andy Hurt, and Matthew Lature to raise over $500 for Charity Ball this past December.

“We have spent so much time together on the court, and also playing games off the court like 2k and FIFA over the years, that to think we could help others while doing what we love was too hard to pass up,” said Giaon; who along with Hurt, Lature, and Miles were part of an undefeated freshman basketball team last year. “Our school is truly built on a sense of community, and this event where we have gone from the youngest in the room, to now running it is a great example of that,” said Miles who also won a conference championship in football this year as the starting varsity quarterback.

Charity Ball Game Changers from South Lakes High School, Reston VAFor South Lakes High School teacher & Coach Jon McNamara who supervised the tournament, that family atmosphere is what pleases him most. “When former students who were part of organizing the first charity tournament like Spencer Alston (Yale) came back last week to visit, the charity tournament was one of the first things they ask about.” McNamara continued, “Being an IB school, one of the IB Learning Profile traits we try to instill in all students is caring. This year’s group of 5 students have shown that to their peers and teammates to great success on and off the court/field; and with the help of Charity Ball can now demonstrate that caring to the larger world—for kids who have not had the same opportunities and access to sports as them.”  As the day ended, Giaon said three freshman came up to him hoping to learn the ropes and continue the tradition in 2019.

Thanks Andy, Bardia, Matthew, Marcus, and Oliver for using what you love to make a difference!

Southampton FC: Signed Jersey for Charity

Today we are launching a very unique fundraiser for us here at Charity Ball. This is the first time we have been given an official jersey from a historic English club, Southampton FC, which has been signed by the ENTIRE first team. You can now enter to win this awesome and distinct prize. However, I thought the back story behind the jersey would be worth noting, especially for die hard soccer fans.

Southampton Signed JerseyThe main man behind this jersey donation is Hugo Scheckter (@hugoscheckter on twitter). Hugo was born in the great state of Georgia (USA) and now lives in London. Soccer has been an integral part of Hugo’s life and career, which started with coaching in high school. He then studied Sports Business at George Washington University and continued to coach club and high school soccer. After graduating from GWU he was hired by Indy Eleven, an NASL team at the time. He then progressed to work as a Player Liaison Officer for Southampton FC for 3.5 years. This past March, he signed on with West Ham to work as their Head of Player Care.

Hugo Sheckter

As the Head of Player Care, Hugo’s primary objective is to make sure the players have everything they need off the field so they can be their best on the field. On match days he arrives 5 hours before kick off to arrange reserve tickets for players’ friends and families, set up sponsor visits and organize pre match meals. Once warm up begins Hugo’s work is more relaxed and he gets to take in the game from the bench. He really enjoys the relationships he gets to build with both players and their families.

To wrap things up, I asked Hugo if he has a favorite team that he didn’t work for, and his answer was surprising: “To be honest, soccer is my life and my career – so my time as a fan is over! My entire energy goes into making sure the players I work with are the best they can be, so I don’t really have time for following other teams. But from time to time I like to check in on clubs that I used to support when I was younger, like DC United and Indy Eleven.”

Hugo found us on Twitter and wanted to get involved with us right away. He loved how Charity Ball is different from many other charities in that we use soccer as a medium to improve children’s lives across the globe. You can expect to see more collaborations between Charity Ball and Hugo in the future!


Now that you know the story behind the jersey be sure to check out our online raffle drawing below for the signed Southampton Jersey.

Be sure to follow and tweet us about this story! @teamcharityball, @hugosheckter, @ethan_king5 (our founder)


For every $25 you donate (using the link below) your name will be entered into a drawing and a new, quality soccer ball will be given to a child. Enter as many times as you like.

Winner will be announced at half time during the FA Cup Semi-Final, Southampton vs Chelsea (April 22, 2018).


By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

Game Changer : David Bass

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

Ways to Get Involved with Charity Ball

Ever wondered what you could do to get involved with Charity Ball?

We’ve put together a short list of creative things people have done over the years to help volunteer, give back and share The Beautiful Game with kids around the world.

1. FIFA Tourney
Host a Playstation or XBox FIFA tournament. Entry fees can be donations to Charity Ball.
2. Retweet/Repost
Join the Charity Ball Social Team and repost and share @teamcharityball tweets.
3. Online Fundraiser
Start an Online Campaign. This involves rallying your friends and family to help you raise money online at and reach your goal to give kids new soccer balls.
4. #MoreBeautifulBirthday
Instead of receiving presents for your birthday, invite your friends, family and birthday guests to make a donation to Charity Ball on your behalf.
5. Charity Soccer Game
Challenge your crosstown rivals to a charity soccer game. Ask each participant or team to contribute a certain dollar amount to help give kids living in poverty new soccer balls.
6. Throw a Party
Dedicate a night to host a fundraiser party for Charity Ball and invite all of your friends to come and donate. Examples include fish fry, barbecue, ice cream etc.
7. Lemonade Stand
Stir up some lemonade and make a batch of cookies to sell to help raise money for Charity Ball.
8. Charity Ball Tee
Purchase a Charity Ball T-shirt and wear it around to help promote the cause. Share your pix on social media using the hashtag #MoreBeautiful
9. Team Promo
Rally your teammates and friends to buy and wear Charity Ball shirts at tournaments and sporting events to promote the cause. We offer a discount on team orders.
10. Allowance
Donate some of your extra work or allowance money to Charity Ball to help another kid’s dream come true.
11. Donation Competition
Have a competition with your friends or family to see who can donate the most money to Charity Ball in a month.
12. Shootout Raffle
Ask your local varsity team if they will help host a penalty shootout raffle during halftime.
13. Charity of Choice
Ask your local varsity teams to host a charity night where the charity of choice is CB.
14. Bar or Bat Mitzvah
Designate Charity Ball as your coming-of-age charity for giving back.
15. Hand-Deliver Balls to Kids
Going to a developing a nation? Fill out an online ball request application for a chance at being a volunteer courier.

Have other ideas? Feel free to pass them along. We’ll add them to the list. As always, we’ll do what we can to help support & resource your efforts.

Thanks for helping us share The Beautiful Game!

-Team Charity Ball

Charity Ball All-Stars; Ethan Friedman

Next up in our series of Charity Ball All-Stars is a 7 year old kid from Florida, named Ethan Friedman. He started an online fundraising campaign called “Futbol for Friends” and was able to raise $2,050. Pretty impressive for a kid who’s only in first grade.


One day in school, after hearing about how kids in Peru gather up trash bags and twine in order to construct a soccer ball to play with, Ethan felt motivated to help. Unlike most people, he went beyond his intentions and started brainstorming possible ways of helping kids. After hearing about Charity Ball and discovering the possibility of starting up an online fundraiser, he was all in.

“I passed flyers out at school, told my friends and family, handed out Charity Ball books at my soccer training academy, and with the help of my parents, I sent emails and posted on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.”

Ethan really enjoyed seeing the donations come through on the website. He was super excited to help the kids, and humbled by peoples’ encouragement and support.

Huge props to a young guy who took action, and accomplished something big for his age. Thanks for your efforts Ethan!

I’d like to say real quick that one of my goals when I started Charity Ball, was to inspire and encourage kids. My hope was that they would be challenged to use what they love to do, and leverage it to help others. All-Stars like Kaveen Chandra and Ethan Friedman used what they love, to put the spotlight on other kids around the world who don’t have the same opportunities. That’s what it’s all about.

Charity Ball All-Stars

Recently, we’ve had an increasing number of kids wanting to start their own fundraiser campaigns for Charity Ball. As a result, we’ve decided to start a new blog series called “Charity Ball All-Stars.” Several of our campaign heroes will be featured and highlighted in these posts for the next few weeks.

First up… Kaveen Chandra – a 13-year old kid from North Carolina who started his own campaign, “Soccer For Hope” He’s already raised $2,196 and is on target for $2500. Check out what he has to say!

Ethan: What was your motivation for starting the “Soccer For Hope” campaign?
Kaveen: One day my dad encouraged me to find a charity to donate to. I searched google for soccer charities and Charity Ball caught my eye. I realized that instead of just donating $50, I wanted to bring awareness to this charity to help kids all over the world so I started “Soccer For Hope”

Ethan: What are some of the creative things you did to raise money?
Kaveen: Some things that I did to raise money were the easy things like emailing my friends and family. However, I asked them not to just donate but to pass on the word. My dad put my link on his Facebook page and I realized that was a brilliant idea. So now I ask people to put the link on their Facebook because that is a quick way for lots of people to see it. Another interesting idea that one of my mom’s colleagues had was to tweet soccer players asking for re-tweets and donations – so even if 10 of those soccer player’s fans donate that is 10 more soccer balls.

Ethan: What did people say when they heard about what you were doing?
Kaveen: Most of the people that I asked for donations from donated and passed the word. They fully supported what I was doing and asked me if there was anything else they could do.  I couldn’t have had more support throughout my journey.

Ethan: What was the best part?
Kaveen: The best part about doing this is knowing that you are helping kids get HOPE, that is why my fundraising campaign is called Soccer For Hope. Being satisfied with what I have done means everything to me.

Ethan: What would you say to other kids that want to do something like you but don’t know how?
Kaveen: I would tell other kids just go for it. You have nothing to be afraid of. The worst thing that could happen to someone who is trying to do what I am doing is that no one donates. But I’m 99.9% sure that’s not going to happen. Just go for it!

Ethan: So what’s next?
Kaveen: What’s next for me… I don’t really know but I do know I am not quitting now. I just met with the owner of Dunn Physical Therapy (photo below) and I asked him to put up a flyer about Charity Ball. He loved the idea and even wants to put this on his website.


Way to go Kaveen! Thanx so much for your passion and huge heart.

Michael Bradley Helps Charity Ball

All of us at Charity Ball are huge fans of the US Mens National Team. We also can’t say enough about Jesse Bignami and Michael Bradley. A couple weeks ago Jesse got with Michael and the two of them decided to team up and help spread the word on Charity Ball.

After some conversation, they moved to put together a super-cool raffle where the proceeds go to help give more kids new soccer balls. For this raffle Michael has donated a signed USA game jersey as well as a signed pair of boots that will be packaged together for one lucky winner.

In Jesse’s words…”For every $25 donation, you will get one entry into the raffle…and for each entry, one lucky kid in need will receive a new soccer ball. Everybody wins here!

To enter the raffle

  1. Go to and donate $25 or more, following the prompts to “Donate a New Soccer Ball.”
  2. Once you receive your donation receipt, take a screen shot and email it to to enter.

Michael and Jesse will choose a winner on March 8th.

Good Luck!


Nepal: Soccer Balls for Displaced Children

After receiving Kris Wienski’s report this morning, we just had to drop a quick post to let you know about the amazing stuff he’s doing. Kris has a soccer background and lives in Surket, Nepal. He coaches 2 boys and 2 girls youth soccer teams. Everyday they play on a dirt and rock field that has a 20 degree slope and broken bamboo goals. We met up with Kris in December and set him up with some new soccer balls to help support his project and the kids in the surrounding areas.


This past fall a horrific flood hit Surket and destroyed many of the homes and villages in the district. The kids who lived in these areas and had little-to-nothing to begin with, lost everything. Thousands of kids were displaced and are now living in make-shift tarp communities.

Moved by compassion, Kris has been visiting these flood camps and using the Beautiful Game to help kids cope and find a measure of hope. Part of his strategy is hand-delivering Charity Balls.

“Everyone has been very happy and grateful for the balls, both children and elders alike. It’s amazing how something as simple as a soccer ball can brighten and lively up the day for hundreds of people”, says Kris.

Within the next couple of weeks he plans to travel to other flood communities and surprise more kids with new balls.

We love what Kris is about and look forward to seeing how we can keep supporting his efforts to help kids rise above and experience a better life and brighter future.

More to come.