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UHS student uses universal appeal of Soccer to help welcome Afghan refugees
UHS student uses universal appeal of Soccer to help welcome Afghan refugees
Posted on 10/15/2021
Soccer donations

Alex Keta wants to change the game for Afghan refugee families.

The Utica High School senior recently took the initiative to organize a community-wide drive for soccer equipment to help welcome refugees through the Fort Lee Army Base in Virginia.

“Now is a time that we need to step up and support these people in need, and a great way of doing that is to provide some sort of enjoyment and temporary escape from their situation,” he said.  “Seeing as soccer is by far the most popular sport in not only Afghanistan but most countries, I figured that we, as a community, could send over some used soccer gear that would continue collecting dust at our houses, but could potentially be a life-changing gift to a refugee child.”

Keta sent out information community wide for a day-long drop off at his house in Shelby Township. He received an outpouring of support from friends and neighbors, resulting in a box of soccer balls and:

  • ·-68 jerseys
  • ·-33 pairs of cleats
  • ·-14 pairs of shin guards
  • ·-56 pairs of socks
  • ·-59 pairs of shorts
  • ·-12 pairs of goalie gloves
  • ·-10 pennies
  • ·-5 duffle bags
  • ·-3 hoodies
  • ·-2 pairs of pants

“Sometimes we forget all our blessings until our eyes are opened and we truly see how much we really have,” he said. “The tragedy taking place in Afghanistan is one of those eye-opening events; men, women, and children who already had minimal possessions are being forced to relocate to air bases and flee the country.”