Meet Natalie a senior goalkeeper at Pacific Lutheran University. Last summer she outreached to her college and local clubs to supply more than half of the equipment needed for our first Kent Immigrant and Refugee Community Soccer Camp that served 103 kids. We’re excited to have Natalie back supporting us with another equipment drive for the 2nd Annual Kent Immigrant and Refugee Community Soccer Camp this August.
What motivated you to support SWB through a gear drive?
As an athlete who has spent the past 18 years playing soccer, I understand the significance that a pair of cleats can have on someone getting into the game. I still remember my first pair of cleats even now almost 18 years later. I am grateful for the ways that this game has impacted me as a person and when the opportunity presented itself, it was something I really wanted to help out with.
What did you most enjoy about your 2018 drive?
I really enjoyed talking with other clubs and parents, coaches and staff from the various clubs around the area. Everyone was always more than willing to help out and they were all friendly and excited to participate. Whenever I would go to pick up donations from a club, talking to parents and meeting families who were a part of the club was always something that was positive. They were very friendly and excited to talk and learn about what the organization was.
Any advice to someone running their own drive?
Some donations were significant and others were only a few items. But regardless, they both were going towards providing an opportunity for others to experience the game. It made me realize that a lot of people were excited to help out in whatever way they could.
Anything else to add?
At its core soccer is simple. It is meant to be enjoyed. As someone who has always been in a competitive environment growing up, I think sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the competition and forget that. (Through the drive) I learned more about the community around soccer. I have always been a player and experienced the game that way, but to be able to take a step back and see the way that the game touches the community was something really valuable.