Children around the world are getting a chance to play soccer thanks to the South Delta United and other community volunteers.
Rod van der Eerden from the local soccer club began collecting used gear and periodically donating it to places where it could help.
Steve Murphy and his wife Barb were also collecting items – specifically bikes – and were looking to take some on a recent trip to Cuba.
Steve reached out through the Tsawwassen Loop Facebook group where he was contacted by Anita Lacasse who suggested they team up with South Delta United on other donation projects.
From all those collaborated efforts the formal working group Kicks for Kids (Supporting Youth Sports Worldwide) was established.
“Rod initially started this and for us we just reached out to friends who we know travel to other countries,” said Murphy. “We just had a friend come back from Thailand and he took one complete back with two sets of uniforms. We sent one to Panama. We sent a complete set to Cuba and we have more going to Cuba. We live there in the winter so we will take those. We also have some going to Peru. It originally started out with the emphasis on Cuba, but we realized the need is great everywhere.”
Murphy said they have also given away some gear to underprivileged kids in the Newton area of Surrey.
“That is also helping the need right here at the local level,” he said. “If there is a need somewhere locally, and we find out about that need, then we want to help. But we also see that there is a larger need around the world too.”
The gear being donated includes uniforms, balls and other equipment that is surplus from South Delta United.
“We have more than 80 complete sets of gear,” added Murphy. “We are also working on a cleat drive that will be associated with the SDU player registrations in the fall.”
Murphy said the generosity is well received by all.
“Smiles all around for sure,” he said. “All we want afterwards is a photo of the group getting the gear. The gratification for us is helping the youth in need.”
Any other soccer organizations or groups that have gear in good condition and want to donate to Kicks for Kids can contact Murphy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.