One of the great blessings of our relationship with the people of Sassier is the way it inspires others.  A perfect example is the partnership forged for us with Dreamweaver International by our longtime friend and supporter, Chris O’Donnell (not the movie guy, but the handsome guy from Winnetka).  One of Dreamweaver International’s projects is Gear for Goals, which provides sports equipment for young people in developing countries.

The project’s Mission is “to provide every child the enjoyment, passion, and love of sport.”  Thanks to Dreamweaver’s Executive Director, Dr. Warren Bruhl, we have received lots of soccer and basketball gear, balls, and uniforms for our young sisters and brothers in Haiti.  Chris’ effort to get us in touch with Dr. Bruhl has paid back 100 fold already!  This is pretty typical for Chris, who dedicates significant time and effort working with severely wounded Marines and other military personnel.

All the recipients of these wonderful gifts have been overjoyed!  While we may not think much about it, getting new or like-new shoes, socks, and uniforms makes a dramatic impact on these young people. Many of them live from day to day, staring into the abyss of poverty and hopelessness.  Then they learn that “someone I don’t know, and will probably never meet,” has given them a gift that makes them proud of themselves, and their team.  In their next soccer match, their team will not be rag-tag, but will have matching uniforms! And everyone will have proper soccer cleats!  The result is close to transformational. Someone far away thinks

“I am real person, not just a street kid” or a poor rural yokel.

As a wise person said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.”  So it is with these young people:  if you think you are somebody, you begin to act like you have a future. And then, remarkable things happen.
Below are some pictures of one of the youth athletic programs that have benefitted from Gear for Goals so far – a youth soccer program run by Coach Maurice Leonce.  Coach is a spry 92 years old and provides “instruction in life and soccer” to more than 100 young people.  You’ll hear more about Coach Maurice in a future post.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.  Please keep Dr. Bruhl and his team in your prayers, as they are now on a medical trip to Kenya.  Mesi anpil, Dr. Bruhl!!