7 Ways To Support Soccer in Underserved Communities

Soccer has the ability to bring people together – as fans, as teammates, or even as rivals. But around the world, and maybe in your own community, soccer isn’t exactly accessible to everyone. Equipment is expensive and fields are scarce. For reasons that range from not having the time or access to living in unstable territories, kids in underserved communities don’t have easy access to the beautiful game. However, several organizations work to change that. Here’s how you can help: 

  1. Charity Ball distributes soccer balls all around the world to kids who live in underserved areas. Their Level the Field program uses design and media reach to give girls the opportunity to play soccer and to amplify their voices. You can follow them on Instagram to see where all the soccer balls are going. Check out their website for ways to get involved.
  2. Grassroots Soccer works around the world to get youth involved with soccer and link them to other health programs. They have a program in which players can organize a charity soccer game to benefit Grassroots Soccer. You gather your team, find a team to play against, and announce the charity game. Take donations for entrance to the game and send that money to the organization. 
  3. iAct provides services to refugees led by refugees themselves. They host the Refugees United soccer camps to help kids 6-18 learn to play soccer, lead, play, and grow. One of the things you can do to help iAct raise money is to host a showing of their film “Not Just Football” about the Darfur United all-refugee team. They send you a package of materials to help put on the event. You can watch the movie online to learn how to “score a goal for Darfur.”
  4. The US Soccer Foundation (USSF) has its Passback Program. They take gently used donations of balls, jerseys, cleats, and other soccer equipment. They turn around and give these supplies to kids who need them and cannot afford them. You can also request help with equipment on the same website. So far, they have given out one million pieces of soccer equipment. The USSF also has programs for sports-based youth development and building soccer pitches.
  5. Local organizations also help kids without access to resources connect to soccer. In Washington, DC, DC Scores provides kids with both soccer and creative opportunities. They take on volunteers as assistant coaches, summer camp counselors, referees, and event organizers. 
  6. Open Field works in both Pittsburgh, PA, and Cameroon. The organization helps inspire children through soccer. They need volunteers in Pittsburgh and have drop-off points around the city for gently used soccer equipment
  7. Your own community may have programs to help bring soccer to more kids. Local schools and soccer organizations often take donations to help lower-income athletes pay for the equipment they use. They can nearly always use volunteers – particularly volunteers with soccer skills. 

Featured Image via Adobe Stock



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