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Teen Wraps Up Successful Soccer Gear Drive
Teen Wraps Up Successful Soccer Gear Drive

This week, we bring you this article from Benicia Herald, featuring how teenager Emily Wolfe successfully drove an equipment-giving campaign, to enable more people play in her neighborhood and back in India.

Many turn out to get recycled equipment, remainder of which will be sent to India

Emily Wolfe knows there’s more to soccer than having a sturdy ball to kick — that more equipment is required if the sport is to be played safely.

Emily also knows, however, that not every family can afford to buy gear for their children.

The Benicia High School sophomore attended the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy last summer, where she was taught leadership and urged to find a way to give back to the community. So she came up with a plan to get Benicia residents to help their neighbors, something she accomplished Sunday.

Emily, who is also a member of the Arsenal Field Club 95 Team, decided to ask Benicians who have gently used soccer equipment to give it to her.

She, in turn, would give it to those who could use it, but who might not otherwise be able to buy it.

Emily announced her equipment drive last November after attending the residential camp for girls that was founded by gold medal Olympian and World Cup champion Julie Foudy, one-time captain of the USA Women’s Soccer Team.

While the camp teaches girls about soccer techniques and play, it also emphasizes community service. Emily has attended the camp for two years.

When she asked for the soccer gear, Benicians responded. “Emily received an outpouring of support and donations from the community,” said her mother, City Clerk Lisa Wolfe.

After sending out an email blast through the Benicia Youth Soccer League, Emily went to Robert Semple Elementary School fields, 2015 East Third St., on Sunday and set up “Emily’s Equipment Exchange,” complete with tables laden with the soccer gear — cleats, shin guards, uniforms, and balls.

“When Emily and her dad arrived at the fields, there was a large group of people waiting for her!” Lisa Wolfe said. “She was able to give away approximately 65 percent of the equipment she collected, which was amazing. People were thrilled to get the equipment. She was thrilled with the turnout and that so many people benefited from the community’s donations.”

Emily is boxing up the remaining equipment and sending it to India through the Magic Bus, a not-for-profit that empowers children and youth by promoting the concept of Right to Play, Lisa Wolfe said.

Original article by Donna Beth Weilenman, Staff Reporter at Benicia Herald.

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