A Lesson Learned…

10 July 2007

When this project started I had no idea of how many others would be affected by a few soccer balls. I knew the obvious beneficiaries would be the kids who would be catching these donated soccer balls, but what I didn’t expect was the effect it was going to have on others once this thing got off the ground (literally and figuratively). From the moment of the first drop, the feeling of overwhelming joy was felt by not just the kids below the helicopter, but also my crew who were in the helicopter dropping balls. My narrow mind was only focused on short term goals and ideas. I knew that if I took a soccer ball and added a kid who didn’t have one, that would equal one HAPPY kid, right? I thought that I was right but I think I miscalculated. Now, I’m not so sure…allow me to add another variable to this equation.

This is Erica from Texas.

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Erica’s mom and dad have already arranged with the people they work with, their family, and their friends to collect two large boxes of soccer balls that were sent to me a few weeks ago. It was an awesome sight. I’ve received boxes and boxes of soccer balls and it is always a wonderful thing to see my desk piled high with those packages.

Somehow, someway, word had gotten back to Erica’s parents that I was in need of more soccer balls. (Which is pretty much always.) So off they went hoping to find a secret treasure trove of soccer balls to send over. They found a store that was selling these soccer balls at a really good price and ended up getting 60 something balls to send over. However, just collecting and loading the soccer balls into the back of the truck wasn’t enough for Erica. This wonderful little girl had emptied her piggy bank and bought 6 soccer balls with her own money! What a wonderful lesson of generosity and selflessness! I’m deeply touched at her act of kindness and would love to give her a great big hug right now. The most amazing part is that Erica will never get to know the kids that will receive the soccer balls she bought. She may never meet them, she can’t even talk to them because she can’t speak Pashtu, but she will offer her hand of friendship and love with this one gesture of donating her own money to buy a few soccer balls to give away.

When Erica’s package of soccer balls get here, this is what will happen.

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Literally hundreds of kids will gather around in hopes of catching one of the balls that were sent. The kids will run as fast as they can to get one.

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They will stop what they’re doing to chase after a dropped ball and as that one kid tucks that ball under his arm, he’ll look up and wave to us as we hover by. He’ll go home and tell his family what happened. He won’t let go of that ball for days, keeping it safe and close by. He’ll sleep at night with a big smile on his face anxiously waiting for the morning to come so he can call his friends to play with him!

 

Thanks to Erica and people from all over the world who’ve helped put that smile on that little kid’s face, and the faces of so many others, we all are truly blessed.

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