|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.
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.
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 shantytown of Flores de Villa, Peru.|
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
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
|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
He commented that the SportsLeader program has helped widen the
boys’ horizons in a way that few other sports programs
“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?”
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 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.
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