- Posted December 22, 2009 by
Poughkeepsie, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Young People Who Rock
Dutchess County, NY, resident and junior at Spackenkill High School, Zac Belok is sixteen, lean and “green”—and he wants to send your used soccer equipment to children in South America through his charitable not-for-profit organization called Amigos de Fútbol.
While volunteering last summer at an orphanage in Argentina, Zac saw firsthand how poverty can be an insurmountable obstacle between a child and his or her dreams of playing “fútbol.” In South America, the zeal of young soccer fans makes Americans’ passion for the sport seem mild; yet approximately two-thirds of South American children under 18 live in poverty, including at least one-third who are considered destitute.
Thinking about all the outgrown and used “stuff” that has accumulated over the years back home in is his own garage and the garages of all his friends and teammates, Zac realized that their forgotten “junk” would be a priceless treasure to less fortunate children like the ones he met at the orphanage—and the idea behind Amigos de Fútbol was born.
The Amigos de Fútbol Project has invited 62 schools in the Hudson Valley Region to join together and to nominate two leaders or “Team Captions”, one sophomore and one junior, from their School who exhibit academic excellence, responsibility, team building skills, and leadership. They know that a philanthropic awareness will be healthy not just for those involved as Team Captains, but also for their school-mates and others among their circle of friends. The Amigos de Fútbol Project will allow local Team Captains to learn about and utilize the fundamentals of business while contributing to an inspiring community service program. This opportunity will challenge selected participants to grow and thrive with peer leaders in an exciting and inspirational non-proﬁt organization. A unique aspect of this program is that they are inviting outstanding volunteers from many school-districts to join together in this exceptional project.
Zac Belok plans to expand the Amigos de Fútbol project beyond the collection and develop the project into a global endowment improving standards of education through the international love of soccer.