A chance to play soccer brings joy to Jacob during a difficult time

Jacob is a 19-year-old refugee from a war torn country waiting on his immigration hearing to come up. He is just a really nice kid and a pleasure to work with. He loves soccer and was looking to join a team here in Vancouver and had a couple trials set up. Unfortunately, Jacob does not have any income, he cannot work, he is not entitled to any assistance yet. Also, he was without cleats and shin guards to go out and play soccer. His one escape from the challenges he is facing. Our Gift-in Kind department, that manages all of our donations, unfortunately had no shin guards or soccer cleats so he couldn’t do trials to join any teams. We decided to reach out to one of our faithful volunteers, Steve, to see if he had any contacts that could help get this young man.

A couple days later, Steve showed up at our Crisis Program with a gift for Jacob. He had found a pair of cleats and shin guards for Jacob and wanted to drop them off. I called Jacob to the lobby area to meet Steve who handed him a bag with a pair of brand new cleats and shin guards. When he looked in the bag he had no words and looked at us almost confused. He asked “are these for me”? We smiled and said yeah and to try them on. They fit like a glove.

He was very thankful and looked overwhelmed and very happy. Steve then invited him to join the Vancouver Street Soccer League practice on the Sunday and he was excited to join them. Sometime it is the little ways we can make our youth feel welcomed that allows them to stay strong during the challenging times that are out of their control.