“Participating in this program raises our players awareness of the needs of others and gives them an outlet to help”
– Charles Russell, Huntingtown High School Soccer Varsity Head Coach
Huntingtown High School Boy’s Soccer Donates Over $4,000 to End Hunger in Calvert County From Kicks for Cans Project
Team continues tradition of embracing #givewhereyoulive spirit
“Part of being a soccer player on this team means participating in our Kicks for Cans service project for End Hunger In Calvert County. Its just part of who we are,” explained Community Service Coordinator Jonathan Reid.
Now in it’s second year, the Huntingtown High School’s Boys Varsity Soccer Team rolled out its “Kicks for Cans” service project during their 2014 Fall Soccer Season. “Kicks for Cans” is a project in which players collect pledges from friends, family, and people in the community for every goal that is scored throughout the season. This year they raised $4,039.
“Participating in this program raises our players awareness of the needs of others and gives them an outlet to help,” says Varsity Head Coach Charles Russell. “ As a result the community has been very supportive as you can tell by the amount of money the team has raised.”
In addition to raising money, “Kicks for Cans” was developed to provide players with leadership, teamwork, and community awareness experience.
“As a high school coach, we are an extension of the player’s learning experience,” says Russell. “Opportunities like this give us a chance to show how the skills they learn on the field – teamwork, leadership, etc., can be used in real life situations. “
Senior Phil Brown comments, “Kicks for Cans taught me leadership and organizational skills that will benefit my future. Also, helping with underprivileged families and raising money for others bound our team together.”
A cornerstone of the project is that “Kicks for Cans” is led and executed by the players. Each year, a group of players are chosen take on the task of motivating players and collecting pledges for that year’s project. In addition, they arrange a day for the entire team to volunteer together harvesting produce with Farming 4 Hunger. These responsibilities are handed down to new student project leaders every year.
“It was a great opportunity to see all of the boys on the team come together and help the community out, whether that was scoring goals and raising money, or donating their time to pick crops at a local farm,” says Senior Jake Stevens.
Senior Reis Richardson was this year’s Project Lead, Senior Phil Brown was the Varsity team’s Pledge Lead, Senior Jake Stevens oversaw incoming donations as well as the Farming 4 Hunger harvest day, and Freshman John Osborne was the Junior Varsity team’s Pledge Lead.
“It is admirable what the Huntingtown High School Soccer program is doing for its players,” says Jacqueline Miller, President of End Hunger In Calvert County. “Soon their players will never know soccer at Huntingtown High without End Hunger In Calvert County. It will just be part of their DNA … that’s great leadership!”
To ensure the project’s continued success, the team is already planning for next year’s “Kicks for Cans”. Tom and Dawna Johnson are taking the lead as the new Community Service Coordinators as previous Assistant Coach and Community Service Coordinator Jonathan Reid will be relocating. In the future, the team is hoping to expand their vision to other sports teams within Huntingtown High and potentially to other sports teams throughout the county.
To learn how you, your team, or group can get involved with End Hunger In Calvert County, visit their website at endhungercalvert.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.