St. Ambrose, Foster City, parishioner raises funds to send soccer balls to Afghanistan

Posted on July 17, 2012

Several months ago St. Ambrose, Foster City, hosted the second annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner. The proceeds from the pancake dinner went to purchase soccer balls for children in Afghanistan through AfghanKidsPlay (AKP). Two of my high school classmates who work in Afghanistan and I formed AKP to help bring hope to the refugee children. The pancake dinner was a lot of fun and our love affair for pancakes generated enough money to purchase about 15 soccer balls. This was a nice start for our soccer ball adventure.

After the dinner, we were ready to send the balls to Afghanistan until we received a shipping quote for $150 per ball from a major shipping company. Through some hard work and a little luck we found a way to ship the balls for free using the space available on U.S. Air Force cargo planes. We will now be sending the balls to a staging area in Pennsylvania. At the staging area the balls will be placed into humanitarian supplies and then sent to various refugee camps throughout Afghanistan. The field representatives in Afghanistan were so excited about the soccer balls that they requested 100 balls. That is a lot of soccer balls.

Since the pancake dinner we have been busy developing a website and raising money. The website will tell you more about our efforts and how to purchase soccer balls. We are now getting about five soccer balls a month from the website link to the manufacturer. In addition, last month students from the University of Sacramento raised enough money to purchase 40 balls. Right now we have about 65 balls ready to ship and need another 35 to reach our goal of 100.

Launching AfghanKidsPlay has been a tremendous amount of fun and I want to thank St. Ambrose for providing the first fundraising event. It makes it a lot easier to raise money when you are surrounded by your friends. To find out more about AKP please contact me or visit www.afghankidsplay.com.