Janae Gonzalez: Jerseys & Cleats For Kids
January 14, 2013 08:47 AM
Soccer friends and contacts. I just want to take the time to wish everyone of you a Happy Holiday season with your love ones. 2012 was by far my best soccer year and I'm not sure I can think of a better way to end 2012 than by putting a smile on some of the kids at the Shriners Children's Hospital of Sacramento. I'm just getting home from delivering the toys collected during our 2nd Annual indoor tournament that my brother and I hosted. Last year we collected a little less than 70 toys, and this year we made it a goal to collect 200. I'm overwhelmed with all the support we got! We were able to collect 270 toys. Thank you very much to the 30 teams and the 200 plus kids that participated.
We also collected a lot soccer gear that we will eventually get to kids in need in different parts of the world. As I said 2012 was a wonderful year for me. I helped my HS team win our first title and was voted Most inspirational player by my teammates. I helped my club team win several tournaments and was again voted captain for the season. I was selected to the Region IV ODP Team Pool. Selected to the "1st All Tournament Team" at the ODP Championships in Phoenix, and invited to an ODP National Camp in Las Vegas. I'm very grateful for all those opportunities, but I'm more proud for the soccer related activities I was able to do off the field during the year. The feeling I got today after dropping off those toys can only be match by the feeling I get every time we get pictures of kids from around the world wearing jerseys or playing with balls that we collected and donated. In 2012 "Jerseys & Cleats For Kids", the organization that my brother and I started a couple years ago and our parents fully support, was able to send soccer gear to kids in Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia and Central America. We were able to donate a lot of soccer balls to 5 villages in Ethiopia who have never had a soccer ball before. I would be lying if I didn't say that it is a lot of hard work, but just seeing the children's faces full of joy is more than enough to keep us doing what we do. I'm very excited for 2013! I have a very good feeling that for me it will be the best year yet on and off the field.
- Janae Gonzalez