In A Nutshell
Empowers underserved communities to build simple soccer fields where at-risk youth have no safe place to play. love.fútbol engages, mobilizes and empowers communities to build their own soccer fields. They finance raw materials and provide guidance – communities donate land and labor, and plan and execute their own project.
Why They Rock
- Leader for the devolpment of eight community-driven soccer field projects that currently serve over 4,000 youth throughout Guatemala.
- love.fútbol works with soccer-passionate communities to create a tool they know how to use. As a result, robust soccer communities emerge–new girls’ and boys’ soccer players, teams and coaches, and consistent organized games and tournaments against other communities and schools that also become beneficiaries; a stronger soccer culture builds community unity, identity and pride
- Economic Development: Increase in clientele and sales at existing stores surrounding love.fútbol fields; entrepreneurs sell produce at soccer games and tournaments.
- Andy Najar of DC United signed to be the a love.fútbol Pro Ambassador (supporter) for Honduras – fields to be built in his native country.
I am promoting the 50Give tour to spread the love of volunteerism for people in their 20 & 30s, and love.fútbol embodies this theme…if I could donate them a billboard – the founder Drew would be juggling a soccer ball, typing on his iPhone while dumping milk over his head with the slogan, “Got Soccer?” You are about to enter soccer mania so put on some deodorant and thick shinguards (yes – blue chunky) for the love of soccer!
I met Drew at his office (parent’s house)…yes, he has been working there for years on a shoestring budget with the passion of a soccer fanatic (nice one – no hooligan aqui). I received a quick tour which was buzzing with tons of activity due to another business in the home – Drew’s parents are also entrepreneurs!
My morning task was a date with Excel and Spanish – upload all receipts from trips Drew took in the past year…my high school Español came in handy: Cajero = ATM. In the afternoon I gave creative input for a Power Point presentation aimed at tournament sponsorships for the development of fields in Central America. We ended the day with some soccer juggling in the backyard and Drew helped film a 50Give Half-Time Video which was posted on the Larabar Facebook page (actual post) – VOLUNTEERING ROCKS: Here’s a half-time report from our friend Keith who is visiting all 50 states to bring awareness to volunteerism (http://www.50give.com/). He’s Ä-mazing! Where do you like to volunteer in your state?
My days on the tour have been long, although Drew takes long days to a new level – check out this schedule: 7 am meeting, 9 – 3 office work, 3 pm meeting, 5 meeting, 7 pm meeting, 11 pm radio show…I am tired just writing this! Drew relies on great volunteers who meet him pre & post their regular job, and he makes it work with his do-whatever-it-takes attitude!
The 50Give home headquarters remained in Maryland while in D.C., and I still received the same great hospitality from my family…also found time to check out the cherry blossoms and monuments – view the photos (sumo celebrity cameo)!
If you have never played or seen soccer abroad, then it’s a bit difficult to explain the profound affect it can have on an individual let alone an entire country (check out unbelievable soccer video in Thailand). Drew and his team believe the fields translate to hope, inspiration and community. In America, fields or open cement areas are pretty easy to find…now imagine: waiting to play in city streets when traffic is not heavy, playing barefoot next to a landfill littered with crack vials, or walking miles on busy highways to the nearest field… love.fútbol understands the power of soccer and provides the love!
This journal post is dedicated to Real Bethesda (Soccer Team) for their fundraising efforts towards love.fútbol.
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” Bill Shankly