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SportsLeader Team Raises $10,000 for Peruvian Family
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
The Kennedy High School football team rallied behind a service project called “Huts to Homes” for a poor family in Peru.

SportsLeader team raised ten thousand for Peruvian family.
The Kennedy High Trojans raised $10,000 for a family in need.

September 6, 2009. Mt. Angel, OR. When Coach Randy Traeger first heard about SportsLeader from Fr Jason Clark, LC, he was sure the program was going to make a real difference for his players at John F. Kennedy High School in Mt Angel, Oregon.

And he wanted his players to make a real difference in someone else’s life. So when fellow coach David Stavros mentioned the Huts to Homes program, sponsored by the International Foundation, Coach Traeger knew that he had found a project to inspire his players.

“We wanted to do something big, centered around the virtue of charity,” he said. “And what’s bigger than building a house?  This house will change their lives.”

He introduced the idea to the team and met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

A project for the good of human dignity

The team’s goal was to sponsor a family living in a slum called Flores de Villa just outside of the capital city of Lima, Peru. Before squatters invaded the area in 1992, it had consisted of a few pig farmers, a garbage dump, and a landfill. Local authorities were dismayed to see people moving in, driven from the city by extreme poverty.

The intervention
Living conditions in Flores de Villa, Peru.
The shantytown of Flores de Villa, Peru.
of American volunteers had resulted in some improvements for the shantytown dwellers: each now holds a property title for a 90 square meter lot where they have built huts out of cardboard and scrap plywood. The homes still have dirt floors, but thanks to ongoing improvement efforts, most now have electricity. Just a few months ago, some even received water and sewage connections.

The “Huts to Home” project’s main goal is to replace the cardboard houses with brick and mortar for greater security and protection from the elements and the spread of disease. But most of all, the project is aimed at raising up the dignity of the poor, giving them a house worthy of being called a home.

Fundraising for a family

After contacting the International Foundation which sponsors the Huts to Homes project, the Kennedy High football team was assigned their specific mission: they needed to raise $10,000 for a Peruvian family of five. Rossana and Geremias Rivera Durand and their 3 children, ages 13, 11, and 4, were living in a one-room cardboard and scrap lumber house with a dirt floor and a corrugated tin roof. There was no way they could afford a new house on the minimum wage
Durand house
The Rivera Durand family house before (left) and after (right).
of $185 per month when the salary was barely enough to feed the children.

So the Kennedy High Trojans got to work with two fundraising events. The first event was a big dinner. The players sold the tickets themselves and served the tables in their jerseys. The second was a fundraising letter that the players sent to relatives and friends who lived out of the local area.

The response to both events was “awesome,” said Coach Traeger. Not only did the boys raise the complete amount of money, but they have also grown as a team.

“Our players have taken great pride in helping these people build a home,” said Coach Traeger. “They know a lot more about charity now. They also have some insight into how they can change people’s lives and change the world, one little bit at a time.”

He commented that the SportsLeader program has helped widen the boys’ horizons in a way that few other sports programs do.

“Many sports teams raise money to buy things for themselves. Our kids raised money to buy the less fortunate a house,” he said. “And who needs another t-shirt, anyway?”

“SportsLeader is helping build men and save lives in our town every day,” he added.

To find out more about how the SportsLeader program transforms teams and players while supporting coaches, visit the
The Kennedy High team
The Kennedy High SportsLeader football team is motivated to do another big service project next year.
web site at www.SportsLeader.org.

***

Below is a sample fundraising letter sent from one of the players to his relatives:

Dear Uncle Jim and Aunt Dianne,             

I am a proud member of the Kennedy Football team.  We are doing some great things in Mt. Angel. You may have heard about our SportsLeader program where our coaches teach Kennedy football players “virtue” and character development. Our coaches are teaching us a code of conduct for manhood and they are holding us to standards higher than victory on the playing field.

As our team’s commitment to demonstrate the virtue “charity”, we have undertaken the mission of raising enough money to build a house for an impoverished family.  The Rossana and Geremías Durand family and their three children live in a one room cardboard/scrap lumber house with a dirt floor and corrugated tin roof.  We intend to change that.

Our football team recently sponsored a BBQ Benefit dinner and raised over one half of the funds needed to complete the house.  The local support for this project has been incredible.  In order to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the house we are reaching out beyond the Mt. Angel community for help.

My teammates and I would very much appreciate any contribution you can make.  Please make your check payable to “Kennedy High School” and mail it off in the enclosed envelope. Any amount will help, $1000, $500, $250, $100, whatever you feel comfortable giving. 

Thank you for helping us demonstrate how “Charity” can change people’s lives.
   
Will Bochsler


PUBLICATION DATE: 2009-09-07


 
 

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