A soccer ball is far more than material stitched together; it’s more than a toy or piece of equipment. A soccer ball is a tool which has the power to create change, form bonds, and it speaks a language all on its own. It is because of this that we have created the Sphere of Change Soccer Ball. This ball simultaneously functions as a donation for the children and teens we serve, but it also gives credit to the many amazing sponsors who have helped us along the way. Each year, various organizations, local businesses, and individual sponsors make a donation to our UKSD KizPlay4FreeProject.
With this donation, they are helping to ensure that we can provide free of charge soccer, mentorship, school supplies, and social issue education to youth both here in our local community and overseas. Each Sphere of Change donor gets their logo printed on that year’s soccer balls, and we then use these balls in various capacities. During our 2016-2017 soccer programming, we were able to not only use these balls in our programs, but we were also able to donate them to numerous towns across Cape Cod, to villages in Africa, to refugee camps in Jordan, and to developing youth programs in Dominica, an island in the West Indies. Something we have noticed throughout our work is how much we can take an item such as this for granted in many areas of the United States. Some locations are fortunate to have surplus equipment, and balls are both accessible and disposable.
During our travel to impoverished and struggling communities, we have seen, first hand, how a soccer ball can be one’s most prized possession. We have also seen young children who create one of their own with whatever supplies they can find because the world has never granted them the opportunity to obtain a real one of their own. The luster of handing a ball to a child or even a coach never gets old. That exchange is often met with unconcealable smiles, deepest expressions of gratitude, and shared acknowledgement of a connection unlike any other. In addition to the joy which comes from a donation such as this, it is also a constant reminder of our commitment to the region or location we have visited. Not only are we able to leave something behind when we go, but we then see these Sphere of Change Balls in the updates we receive from the organizations we have worked with.
We see the balls being used, new skills the kids have learned, successful sessions the coaches have had, and we maintain our connection until the next time we are able to visit. We would like to thank our existing Sphere of Change Sponsors. This year we have been fortunate to receive support from Millwall Football Club, Publisher Solutions International, Lewis and Weldon, Team 300, Old Sod Landscaping, Kinlin Grover Real Estate, Exelon Corp, and South Shore Select Soccer. We truly can’t thank each of these organizations enough. We would not be able to do what we do and impact so many communities if it weren’t for their generous support. As always, we welcome any person or organization who may also be interested in becoming involved. Please see out website under the “ Help Us” page in order to see how you too can become a member of our Sphere of Change initiative. There is something quite moving when you see a photo of a child, a soccer ball, your logo, and the solidified acknowledgement that you have positively changed the course of someone’s life.