The Power of We

The theme for @blogactionday12 is "The Power of We" #powerofwe This year #BAD12, I am posting about soccer. Yup. Soccer.

When and where I grew up, soccer was a sport for the rich kids, consequently I didn't really get into it or play much. My junior and senior years of high school, I became indifferent about any sport. During college, there were some crazy sports fans for the local college basketball team and by shear peer acknowledgement my "sporting interest" started to grow. I realized that people with a common interest can develop a relationship faster and through that relationship I could talk more freely about my faith and Christ's role in my life, plus the basketball team rocked! Go Wildcats Basketball!

About seven years ago, I allowed myself to become a die-hard fan of #WVU College American football. Lets Go Mountaineers! A little later I discovered the long lost, to my life, sport of soccer. I became a closet watcher and follower. I studied the tactics, the players, the skills, the fans and that led to another realization. This sport like no other has a depth and width that goes beyond the sport itself, it is it's own language and provides a common interest to the entire world. What does this have to do with Blog Action Day!?

Others before me have realized the same thing about this sport, I want to highlight what people can do when they take their passion and use it to benefit the world. Organizations like Grass Roots Soccer and The SEGway Project are among many non-profits taking this concept to the next level.

The SEGway Project
The SEGway Project started by some athletes at the University of Notre Dame is taking the sport to developing areas like Nepal, Kenya, and Cambodia. An inspiring story about this project is that one of the co-founders actually gave up her position and scholarship on the team in her Senior year to make this project work. "The SEGway Project uses soccer to empower girls in the developing world, helping them to fulfill their potential both on and off the field. In our eyes, the soccer field is an extension of the classroom where a girl can learn to be competitive, gain self-confidence, and acquire the life skills needed to segway into the leader she was born to be." If you would like to help them out, send them an email.

Grassroot Soccer
Grassroot Soccer got started with funds from Survivor winner Ethan Zohn. "Grassroot Soccer uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV." With the development and use of a specialized curriculum, they use soccer itself to educate about HIV, a 100% preventable disease, which will hopefully one day be eradicated. Grassroot Soccer operates flagship sites in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition, they have helped create other projects in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. They are rated high in Charity Navigator and if you want to help them out, there are many things you can do:

These stories and many more show what "The Power of We" can do.

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