THE HISTORY AND HOPES OF FULL CIRCLE
Soccer has given me everything. During my years of playing, I was blessed with an unconditionally supportive family, extraordinary coaches, and unforgettable teammates. I felt a sense of acceptance, freedom, creativity, passion and purpose every time I stepped on the field. I travelled, made up handshakes and corny cheers, and encountered life changing moments. I learned how incredibly rewarding it could be to push through fear, doubt, and pain to reach a euphoric championship win. I've made mistakes as a player and as a coach that helped me become a better person. I've had to reach into depths of my character that I didn't know were there. I love that soccer helps me express myself, and I love to empower others to do the same. My soccer journey has come full circle and I intend to give back through the game that gives me everything.
The Mission of Full Circle Outreach is to financially donate to causes that Full Circle Players believe in. I wholeheartedly believe in my players, and encourage them to give in whatever way they can. Each player will chose a charity/foundation/person in need, and each month, Full Circle Soccer will donate 4 dollars from every training session to one of those causes. By looking past ourselves and looking out for others, we hope to spread awareness of people and animals who need help. Each player has the opportunity to research and choose a cause that means something to them, and in doing so, they will become more involved in their community and feel great about the soccer work they are doing at the same time. The charity/foundation will be posted the 1st of every month, and the amount will be counted here at www.fcsoccertraining.com.
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CHARITY OF THE MONTH
Sparrow's Nest is an inspiring organization in Hudson Valley, NY that prepares and delivers 2 trays of homemade food each week to families of mothers with cancer. The goal of the charity is to save these moms time and money so that they can focus on their recovery and spending time with their family. The services provided by this charity are a huge relief to their recipients and have motivated numerous sponsors to get involved. Sparrow's Nest, founded by Krista Jones, was chosen out of 800 charities to receive the "Hearts of Today" Award of $25,000 from Pandora in 2014. They were also awarded $10,000 by JC Penney to help expand their mission into Westchester County, NY and Connecticut. Sparrow's Nest participates in races to raise money, and helps organize efforts to give care packages to people in hospitals. This incredibly selfless organization has improved the lives of so many people, and Full Circle can now contribute to the healing because of a Sparrow's Nest volunteer, Victoria Kraft.
"Sparrow’s Nest is a really up-and-coming charity. The work that its founder, Krista Jones, has done over the past three years is remarkable. She works diligently and tirelessly to cook food for families who’s mothers have been stricken with cancer. Krista started this charity simply to help out a friend in need. It has grown into something completely remarkable. I have volunteered for this charity countless times, doing things such as cooking lasagna and making tutus and capes for children with cancer. Sparrow’s Nest has become an integral part of the community and I cannot wait to continue volunteering for this charity!"
Victoria Kraft, a native of Hopewell Junction, NY, is currently a freshman at Smith College in Northhampton, MA. Majoring in Sociology, Vicki aspires to be a pediatric physical therapist. Adding to her ample college work load, Vicki has proven to be a valuable component of the Smith Pioneers Women's Soccer Team. Kraft earned a starting position in her first season and is very committed to her improvement as a player. She possesses blazing speed and a mighty left-footed shot. When she is off the soccer field and out of the classroom, Vicki volunteers at the Beekman Library with programs such as Reading Buddies and Homework Helpers. She is Red Cross certified and babysits for families in her hometown. Her spirited attitude toward the work she does with Sparrow's Nest and her work with children is admirable and uplifting. Full Circle Soccer is honored to work with such a generous, well-rounded student athlete.
Westhab is a non-profit organization for people who are in need of affordable housing and supportive service. It has moved 5,000 homeless families into permanent housing, placed 3,000 public assistance recipients into employment, built and renovated 2,000 housing units, currently manages 1,000 housing units, serves over 1,200 homeless and at-risk youth annually, and is an amazing place for people to turn to when they are in need of special services. It ensures that anyone and everyone in need will receive the care they disserve. Westhab also provides a wide range of programs and services aimed at ending the cycle of poverty for those that are housed and those that live in the communities in which the organization is committed. Westhab offers community-based solutions to poverty by building and preserving affordable housing, and by engaging local stakeholders in community development activities. Westhab uses all-inclusive methods including producing housing to suit the entire spectrum of affordable housing need, and reaching out to community members and municipal officials. This incredible organization was brought to Full Circle's attention by Sophianna Gaffney.
"Westhab is an important organization to me because of the wonderful families that I share my volunteer time with on Saturdays at the Reformed Church in Bronxville, NY. Children from the Elm Street center- a Westhab group- venture out to Bronxville on various Saturdays during the year, and I spend time with them and engage in different activities like arts and crafts, basketball, and pingpong. We also have activities during special holidays. For example, during the Christmas season I was a Santa's helper and had the chance to assist the children in picking out a present they wanted to give to their parents. Many community members had donated gifts to the event and we selected and wrapped the items together. I also enjoyed stuffing stockings and decorating gingerbread houses during the special day. Lunch is also provided by the Bronxville community. All in all, I enjoy spending time with the children from Westhab because they are all very polite, caring and thankful."
Sophianna Gaffney is a 12 year old from Scarsdale, NY, with "soccer junkie" written all over her. Her touch on the ball is remarkably sophisticated for her age, reaching over 1,250 juggles in a row and mastering the "around the world" trick. Her love for the game is inspiring. Outside of her full time soccer schedule, Sophianna volunteers at the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen in Mt. Vernon, NY and participates in the Social Action Club at The Ursuline School. She is involved in choir and basketball at her school, and plays both the cello and the piano. It's humbling to see such a talented, high achieving, fun-loving kid reaching out to help others and giving back to her community. Full Circle takes great pride in working with Sophianna and donating to such a worthy cause.
A soccer name that will forever represent the epitome of a role model is Michelle Akers. She is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was named FIFA Female Player of the Century. She was a member of the iconic and victorious 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cup Teams who launched U.S. women's soccer into life. From witnessing the warrior mentality of Michelle Akers through her playing career, her battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, knee surgeries in the double digits and other countless injuries, one cannot help but be inspired. After her retirement, Michelle has dedicated her life to rescuing horses and other homeless or neglected animals. She runs various soccer training programs out of her farm where she provides refuge for these animals. Her selfless and philanthropic way of life has influenced many, including Full Circle player, Aurora Zahm.
"Pets offer unconditional love and adoration to their owners. They greet you at the door and shower you with kisses. They are never unhappy to see you come home from work or school, but just want to see you and spend time with you. However, not all owners are receptive to the love of their pets—many animals are beaten or ignored, starved and forgotten about. Michelle Akers’ Farm is a place for the abandoned animals to heal and receive the same love they selflessly dole out. Her farm is ideally set up to give them a better life, which is why I choose to donate this month’s money to her foundation."
Aurora Zahm is a freshman at Santa Clara University. She hails from Rye, NY where she played varsity soccer and was engaged in various positive activities. Aurora was a member of the I 420 World Sailing Championship Team, traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe. She helped organize donations of soccer balls through the Rye Soccer Club that were sent to South Africa, and is currently orchestrating a similar effort at Santa Clara. Aurora is a talented writer and photographer, and is double majoring in Classics and Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. Her unshakable ambition, generosity, and optimism will undoubtedly promote her into positions of great influence. Full Circle is extremely proud to endorse Aurora and her charity of the month choice.
To learn more about the Michelle Akers Horse Rescue and Outreach organization, please click on the link provided.
Jillian Loyden was a US Women's National Team member and professional soccer player for over 5 years. She is the founder and director of The Keeper Institute. As her soccer accolades are almost innumerable, her most influential work is in her dedication to helping those who have been affected by domestic violence. Jillian's valiant story uplifts people every day, and her foundation will be the recipient of the first Full Circle Outreach Program donation.
Full Circle's first student, Emily Crosby-Piszczek, is currently a junior at Philipsburg High School in NJ. She is a dangerous outside mid with a relentless work ethic and profound love for the game. Her commitment to her teammates, friends and family is exemplary. She is an inspiring individual with a generous heart and a bright future. In learning about The Jillian Loyden Foundation, she was instantly drawn to it's message, and decided to make this amazing foundation her month's pick.
"Domestic violence has finally started to uncover itself within relationships. It is difficult to admit to being a witness or a victim of domestic violence. Some do not believe they can be helped and many just deal with it because they don't know any better. They don't know that what their partner is doing to them is anything out of the ordinary. In my opinion, the best solution for this unfortunate issue is to increase domestic violence awareness so people know that what they're going through is wrong and that they have support and help. After hearing Jill's story with domestic violence, I immediately wanted to do something for her cause. Everyone who knows Jill has nothing but positive things to say about her and I believe she will make a big impact with her foundation. She is the 1st step to the end of domestic violence and I would love to help her along the way. "
To learn more about The Jillian Loyden Foundation and the fight against domestic violence, please click on the link provided.
For information about getting involved
contact Erica Stewart at erica@fcsoccertraining