One soccer-obsessed family has figured out a way to use their passion to improve the lives of others.
Last summer, the Grecsek family of New Jersey founded the charity, “1KCLEATS4KIDS,” with the goal of collecting one thousand pairs of soccer cleats for children in Haiti, a country where most kids play soccer, but few can afford the proper footwear.
“We wanted to push the kids, so if we were going to do this, we are going to go for something really big,” Jerry Grecsek told WFOR-TV.
Over the past year, 14 cousins ages 8 to 17 met once a week to map out their goals and track their progress.
“We were collecting cleats by the day and it started to grow every day,” Gavin Grecsek told WFOR.
The effort was a tremendous success, gaining massive attention on social media. Not only did the Grecsek cousins reach their goal, but two nonprofits even offered to pack and ship the cleats, free of charge.
“It’s all about kids helping kids. Just imagine when you see their smiles — that’s going to be our closing moment,” Jerry said.
Until this summer, 18-year-old Erick Noel of Haiti had grown accustomed to playing soccer barefoot on gravel and grass. The teen isn’t sure the Grecseks are even aware of the ways they have changed his life and so many others for whom soccer means so much.
“I think it’s a beautiful gesture and I think God is happy and will bless them,” Noel told WFOR.
After this past year’s success, 1KCLEATS4KIDS has set a new goal of collecting 2,000 pairs of cleats. This time, they will distribute cleats to an inner city in the United States.
The Grecseks have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for shipping costs. To learn more about their cause and how you can get involved, click here.