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Soccer + #GivingTuesday: Our 18 Picks

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Soccer + #GivingTuesday: Our 18 Picks

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With the goal of celebrating and encouraging charitable activities at the start of the holiday season, #GivingTuesday is an invaluable opportunity for participants and fans of soccer to #GiveanAssist to causes that use the beautiful game to bring social change. Getting in the game for #GivingTuesday can be as quick as donating a few dollars, sharing an organization’s link or logo with your social network, clicking an Amazon Smile purchase link, volunteering your time/talents on your terms and/or supporting a social enterprise/fair trade brand.  The ways you can #GiveanAssist today and the rest of the upcoming year are only limited by your creativity.

Whether you want to team up with a cause in your community or on the other side of the world, our 2013 picks are using soccer to tackle challenges with unique, local and global approaches.

#GiveAnAssist And….

Stand Up to Gender Based Violence + Rape: The Beautiful Game

A documentary by award winning director/producer Danny Turken, The Beautiful Game is a story about the impact of soccer on women in South Africa-- who use their love for the sport to challenge gender discrimination, gender-based violence and deep-seated cultural stereotyping-- and demonstrate soccer’s ability to transcend all boundaries and reshape the perception of women throughout the world.  Currently in the final days of its Kickstarter post-production campaign, the team is offering a number of unique #GivingTuesday rewards for those who pledge their support before midnight today.  Check their funding page at the link above for details.

Inspire Creativity On and Off the Field: America Scores*

America SCORES empowers students in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression, and service-learning.  The organization currently serves 8,000 young, soccer-poets in 13 cities.

Save Money on Balls: One World Futbol Project*

One World Futbol produces, sells and shares almost indestructible, nondeflatable balls that harness power of play to heal and bring about social change in some of the harshest environments around the globe.  Their buy one, give one initiative brings soccer to organizations and individuals that need it most.

Spread Electricity Soccket

Uncharted Play combines sports, science and social innovation to bring its energy-harnessing soccer ball to the children in the developing world.  Fifteen minutes of play with the soccer ball provides 3 hours of LED light. With a get one, give one initiative, you have a cool ball to charge your phone and a child abroad has a new light source.

Gift Collegiate Athletic Experiences: Sporty Girls, Inc.*

Founded by national sports personality Rashan Ali, Sporty Girls, Inc. provides programming that encourages minority, metro Atlanta girls (age 8 – 18) to participate and achieve success in non-traditional sports, such as soccer, tennis, swimming and golf.  Every year, 40 girls are selected to get a taste of collegiate athlete life by participating in a rigorous, overnight camp at local campus.

Tackle HIV/Aids: Grassroot Soccer*

Co-founded by CBS Survivor Series Winner Ethan Zohn, Grassroot Soccer uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.

Passback to Upstart Soccer Programs: US Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is on a mission to enhance, assist and grow the sport of soccer in the United States, with a special emphasis on underserved communities. Through their Soccer for Success, Passback and Safe Places to Play programs, the foundation is making sure unexposed youth are equipped with all of the tools to play the game.

Equip ATL Youth with Life Skills + Jobs: Soccer In the Streets*

Soccer in the Streets empowers underserved youth through soccer, mentoring, character building and employability programs.  In 2013, Soccer in the Streets weekly programming serves 1,300 kids at 16 different metro Atlanta locations and employs 70 participants or graduates as coaches, referees, event staff, or administrators.

Set the Homeless Up For Another Shot: Street Soccer USA*

With a mantra that “Ending homelessness is a team sport,” Street Soccer USA uses the power of soccer to help homeless men and women dramatically transform their lives. Through their mobile donation initiative, you can support an athlete for ($5) by texting “GOAL” to 80100.

Soccer without Borders*

With programs in seven US cities, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Egypt and Uganda, Soccer without Borders utilizes soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of marginalized youth.

Build Character in Chicago Youth: Urban Initiatives*

Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower underserved children to adopt healthy lifestyles, improve their academic performance, and build strong character through sports-based youth development programs.

Show MLS Love: United for D.C

As the outreach arm of MLS Club DC United, United for D.C. champions educational, health, and recreational programs and events that serve disadvantaged youth of greater Washington, DC by engaging the resources and skills of D.C. United and its community of supporters.

Arm Youth for Peace: Darfur United (I-Act)*

By fielding an all-star refugee team and academy for children, Darfur United is making sure that Darfuri youth in Chad “now have a place in the world.”

Empower Young Women in Senegal: Ladies Turn

Ladies’ Turn is a non-profit association working to give Senegalese girls and women the chance to develop teamwork and leadership skills through the sport of soccer.

Enrich A Nation of Young Players: AYSO Soccer *

With a membership almost 2x the size of Iceland’s population, the American Youth Soccer Association’s 600,000 youth participants learn how to play the global game in a fun, family environment.

ReGift Gently Used Equipment: Peace Passers*

Peace Passers serves as a platform to redistribute donated, new and used soccer items to communities that have limited access to proper gear.

Create Female Changemakers in India: Yuwa India

With a mission to spark youth led change, Yuwa India provides a platform for young women in India to gain confidence and make a change in their world.

Free + Healthy Play in San Francisco: Vega Football Club

Vega Football is a competitive youth soccer club with a social mission: a free-to-play model that allows kids from underserved communities to access the life-changing, developmental benefits of playing organized soccer.

Have a Happy #GivingTuesday2013!

*Participating in the Amazon Smile program: If you purchase items through the organization’s Amazon Smile link, 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to the organization.

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Soccer in the Streets Event Lets You Break Moms’ Rule

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Soccer in the Streets Event Lets You Break Moms’ Rule

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Who has those memories of being a kid, getting all dressed up for some special occasion and your mom (auntie or grandma) laying down the law with the words, “Don’t mess up your outfit”?  I know I do. Fortunately on Sunday, October 6th, Soccer in the Streets will be encouraging teams of adults to put on their most fashion forward attire and get it dirty without consequence at its 5th Annual Black Tie Soccer Game.  This 7 v. 7 match is sure to be filled with sparkly mini dresses, ball gowns, suits and bowties worthy of a segment on Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police and on field play that would make Sir Alex Ferguson come out of retirement to coach.

For a mere $5, you can enjoy a front row seat at Grady Stadium to witness a spectacle that is sure to make you scream, cheer, laugh and cry.  If you have a little more change to spare, you can even sponsor one of the “hot” competitors. (You know they say soccer players are by far the most attractive athletes…)

Nevertheless, all of this money goes to help Soccer in the Streets continue and expand its mission to empower underserved youth through soccer, character development, mentoring, and employability programs.

In 2013, Soccer in the Streets weekly programming serves 1,300 kids at 16 different metro Atlanta locations and employs 70 participants or graduates as coaches, referees, event staff, or administrators.  Jill Robbins, Jason Longshore and the rest of their executive team know how to stretch a dollar longer than any pair of soccer socks…

To get all the details about attending the event, sponsoring a player or bidding in the silent auction, go to www.blacktiesoccergame.com

Who knows?  Your donation to such a worthy cause may allow you to catch several glimpses of a sequined, one arm mini dress, from West Midtown’s Cosign Resale Boutique, moving up and down the field!

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4 Organizations Bring Soccer to Urban ATL

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4 Organizations Bring Soccer to Urban ATL

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Around the world, soccer is one of the first sports most kids learn to play.  However in many urban American cities, you will be hard pressed to find the world’s favorite sport being played by inner city youth, outside of the occasional P.E. class. For those metro Atlanta parents who want to get their son or daughter involved in the sport, here are four organizations that provide a range of free and/or low cost programming:

On the Eastside:  Created in partnership with the East Lake YMCA, Healthy Lives Healthy Kids provides recreational soccer programming for youth ages 3-18.  To learn more about their teams, go to www.hlhk.org.

In the Southwest:  Consisting of recreational, academy and select teams for both boys and girls, Tiger Soccer Club is one of South Fulton County’s most successful soccer programs.  The rapidly growing organization fields teams from U4 to U19.  To find out to get your child involved, go to www.tigersoccerclub.com

Metro Atlanta Girls:  Founded by Atlanta radio and sports personality Rashan Ali, Sporty Girls Inc. seeks to encourage minority girls age 8 - 18 to participate and achieve success in non-traditional sports, such as golf, soccer, swimming, and tennis, while building good character and lifestyle skills.  Free clinics and workshops are offered throughout the year in addition to its highly prestigious Camp Elite summer program.  To learn more about SGI, go to www.sportygirlsinc.org.

Throughout Metro Atlanta:  Soccer in the Streets empowers underserved youth through soccer, mentoring, character building and employability programs.  Through partnering organizations, such as schools, community centers and parks, multiple sessions are conducted each week to ensure a consistent presence in the community and ongoing positive influence among the youth.   The organization operates from four hubs (Atlanta (proper), Clarkston, College Park and Sandy Springs), and provides programming to elementary students, teens and young adults.  To get involved in their various activities, contact SITS at www.soccerstreets.org.

  Stay tuned for more in-depth highlights of each of Healthy Lives Healthy Kids, Tiger Soccer Club, Sporty Girls Inc., and Soccer in the Streets in future posts.

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