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The FIFA World Cup 2014 is getting plenty of media coverage, but we’ve got a world class soccer story right here in Atlanta, Georgia.
Early this summer, soccer fanatic brothers Lucas and Gabriel Anderson (ages 12 and 10) were kicking the soccer ball around with their three-year-old cousin and thinking of ways to earn money. “We talked about pet sitting, mowing lawns, washing our neighbor's cars, etc.,” said Lucas. “And then we thought of starting our own soccer camp. My aunt thought it would be great to do a soccer camp for our cousin's age. So we have our little cousin to thank for helping us form the idea!”
With support from their parents, uncle, aunt and grandparents, they launched “Lil’ Kickerz Soccer Camp” in June. Twelve campers, age two to four, attended the weeklong camp.
“My mom told us we had to donate half our earnings,” said Gabriel. “Lucas and I were trying to bring the 50% down to 25%-35%, but my mom would not let us. She said she would give us the choice of donating to any charity, so Lucas and I decided on the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Lucas and I know of the Food Bank from our school, The Paideia School. My class volunteered there all last year. Our class really liked going. I'm glad we donated there.”
Their mother is glad too. She knows from personal experience what a difference it can make. "We moved from South Korea in the 70s because my father wanted us to have a better life,” said Su Anderson. “He was well educated, but Korea was poor at that time and good education for children was difficult and expensive.
We lived in Clarkston where most immigrants and refugees make their first stop. The people I met there were among my fondest memories of what the "kindness of strangers" really meant. We also received a lot of assistance through the Korean church and Korean community. I cannot imagine what kind of life that was for my parents. For me at age 7 or 8, it was a happy time. But I do remember being hungry. It's a feeling you don't forget if you've ever experienced it. My kids never have to be concerned about their next meal or having a roof over their heads. I don't want them to forget that they have this life and they need to share what they have with others.”
The boys donated half of their profits from their camp to ACFB. They hand delivered $360 with their mom and received a tour of the Food Bank’s warehouse from ACFB Annual Giving Manager Greg Sims. “Mr. Sims told us for every dollar people give, the Food Bank provides four meals,” said Lucas. “With Gabriel's and my donation we provided 1,440 meals. For some reason, I was really, really happy and sad at the same time about that. Not sure why.”
Lucas would definitely like to host the camp again. “I want to make more money and donate again. I'm thinking bigger for next time!” Gabriel’s response when asked if he thinks their camp inspired little kids to keep playing soccer: “Well, of course!”
“Lucas and Gabriel had a great time with all the kids! Thank you very much for kindly, lovingly promoting a well needed service to our community,” said Su. “We hope Lucas and Gabriel's contribution will make a small difference.” These brothers have made a big difference. They used their natural talents to score big in the fight against hunger, and it’s a strong bet their story will inspire other kids to find their own unique ways to give back to their communities.