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Game Changers

Southampton FC: Signed Jersey for Charity

By | Game Changers, Products, Soccer Culture

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)

WIN THIS SIGNED SOUTHAMPTON JERSEY!

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).

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By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

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

Ways to Get Involved with Charity Ball

By | Game Changers, Get Involved

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
Join the Charity Ball Twitter Team and retweet @charityballnews & @teamcharityball tweets.
3. Online Fundraiser
Start an Online Campaign. This involves rallying your friends and family to help you raise money online at charityball.org 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

By | Game Changers, Uncategorized

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.

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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

By | Fundraisers, Game Changers

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.

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

Michael Bradley Helps Charity Ball

By | Game Changers

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 charityball.org 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 jessebignami@gmail.com to enter.

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

Good Luck!

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Nepal: Soccer Balls for Displaced Children

By | Game Changers, Recipients

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.

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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.

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More to come.

Winning Kick

By | Game Changers, Products, Soccer Culture

About 6 months ago I was contacted by two brilliant people named Scott Balaban and Elizabeth Sarquis. Elizabeth is the founder and CEO Global Gaming Initiative and Scott is the Development Director. GGI helps those in need around the world through entertaining and inspiring mobile games. They had the great idea of creating a game for the iPhone and Android platforms that would promote and help sponsor Charity Ball. For the last half a year, we’ve been working with them to bring this idea to life.

The game is called “Winning Kick” and the objective is to score as many goals as possible in 30 seconds. It applies some of the simple fun of Flappy Bird and also has a classic 80’s arcade game feel. It is very addicting, and in some moments you to want to throw your phone across the room, which is part of the thrill and experience, right? Not only are you having fun playing the game, you’re also helping get brand new, quality soccer balls to kids in poverty-stricken communities around the word. It’s a win-win and the perfect way to give back — 50% of the proceeds to go Charity Ball!


Go to the app store now and get in the game:
for Android or for iPhone

Naperville Fire: Playing for Something Bigger

By | Game Changers

A few weeks back, a small U12 team from Naperville, Illinois decided they all wanted to play for something bigger. They designated one of their final league games to raise money and help kids around the world get new, quality soccer balls. I caught up with Coach Chris Bonney for quick interview on how things went.

kids playing for something bigger

Ethan: Whose idea was it to dedicate a season game to play for Charity Ball?

Chris: I learned about Charity Ball through Twitter. I’ve been following so many things around the 2014 FIFA World Cup and your organization popped up. I checked out your website and watched the “Pass the Ball” video and fell in love with the idea. I was surprised I had not heard of it before. When I saw a picture on the website of a team wearing Charity Ball shirts (LINK), I thought, “this is perfect, exactly what we want to do”. We have a great bunch of kids on our team who understand the power of generosity and are always looking for good things to do. When I told them about my idea, they fell in love with it.

Ethan: Why did you guys decide to do this?
Chris: Once we were familiar with Charity Ball and understood the level of awareness we could bring to our community, friends, families, and other soccer compadres – we thought it would be a great way to get the word out. We love what Charity Ball does. We think it’s a really cool thing. Like you, we wanted to give back.

Ethan: What would you say to other teams/clubs/people that are thinking about doing something similar?
Chris: I would say go for it! Do it tomorrow if you can. Do it every game! It was a great experience, not only working with your organization, but also having people say to you, “Hey, what’s Charity Ball?” It’s not only a great way to bring attention to soccer, but also what soccer can do for others.

Ethan: What was your favorite part?
Chris: Other than winning the game, it was each step of the game. The refs lined us up and we told them that we were playing to help kids around the world get new soccer balls. The same day we played for Charity Ball we did crazy sock day, so it was cool wearing CB shirts and having our kids wear all these random soccer socks! Afterwards, as we walked through the line to shake hands, we gave everyone on the other team a CB card/ flyer to show them what we were playing for that day. Also, at halftime, (for our cheer) instead of saying, “Go Fire”, we said, “Go Charity Ball.”

Ethan: How did it make you and the kids feel that you were playing for something bigger?
Chris: Awesome. It felt awesome! When we went to a Chicago Fire MLS game the next day, everyone showed up in their Charity Ball shirts, and we didn’t even plan it. Everyone went home that night, washed their shirt and wore it the next day. It showed how passionate the kids were about your organization and making a difference. They all also wore them to school on Friday. I also think as a coach, it also inspired them to play better as well.

Chris, thanx for the interview, and special thanx to team Naperville Fire for helping us share The Beautiful Game with other kids around the world. Better yet, thanx for reminding all of us that kids can make a difference and change the world.