When I was nine, my biggest birthday concern was chocolate cake with vanilla or chocolate icing. For me, it was only later in life that birthdays became more reflective, focusing on the gift of another year and gratitude for the love and support of family and friends. When I learned that Esteban, a nine year old from Connecticut, was dedicating his 10th birthday to raising funds for Soccer Without Borders, I was blown away.
With over three million youth soccer players, there is no shortage of passion for the world's game among young people in the USA. However, the rising costs, limited urban facilities, and decline in school-funded programs (read more) has made playing on a soccer team inaccessible to many kids and families. The idea that some kids wouldn't be able to play on a team like his inspired Esteban to act:
"It's a nice thing to do to help people. If we help other people the world will be a better place. Also, if more kids can play soccer, I'll have more competition too!"
Little did Esteban know that Soccer Without Borders was also turning ten years old. Thank you, Esteban, for sharing your birthday with us and dedicating your milestone to creating opportunities for other kids through the game we all love!