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Making a difference for children in Detroit

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Play is for everyone, and play itself takes on all shapes and sizes. Our partner Detroit PAL recognizes and embraces this in their programming for children in Detroit, Michigan. Now based out of the historic Tiger Stadium, the nonprofit organization runs athletic programs that include soccer, baseball, softball, cheer and American football—among others.

In partnership with the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers, Detroit PAL works to create safe and supportive places for kids to play. Each year, the organization, which got started in 1969, trains and certifies more than 1,700 volunteers to become encouraging coaches and mentors to the city’s youth. And with the help of those volunteers, Detroit PAL positively impacts the lives of more than 12,000 kids each year.

Through athletic, academic and leadership development programs, the organization strives to build high character in Detroit’s children; help children lead active and healthy lifestyles; and develop young people who give back in their community.

On a recent visit to Detroit, we sat down with a few of the charismatic Detroit PAL youth. They shared their thoughts on soccer, winning medals and trophies 😜 and their hopes and dreams for the future.

“I feel fast when I’m playing soccer.” – Johnnese, 11


How do you feel when you play?
When I play soccer, I feel excited about playing against teams and against players.

How long have you been playing soccer?
I’ve been playing soccer since I was in 2nd grade, so when we’ve been playin’, we’ve been winning. Sometimes we lose, sometimes we win.

Has play changed your life? If so, how has it changed your life?
Play has made my life better because instead of just playing—instead of just playing hopscotch—we play soccer.

“When I grow up, I want to be famous.” – Jaylin, 9


How do you feel when you play?
When I play, I feel awesome. Because, to me, it’s fun to play soccer because when I grow up I want to be famous and I want people to watch me on TV.

How do you feel when you don’t get to play?
I feel not bad because when I’m not playing—cause when I play soccer, I get tired, and when I’m not playing soccer, I can just sit down and rest for a little while. So when I’m ready to play soccer again, I can feel better.

What are your dreams for the future?
For my future, I’m going to be famous. Play is gonna change my life.

“When I’m playing, I feel inspired and respected.” – Jaion, 9


How do you feel when you play?
How I feel when I’m playing, I feel inspired and respected.

How do you feel when you don’t get to play?
It doesn’t feel good when I’m not playing.

What does play mean to you?
For me, play is everything. Like it changed my life, like I can have friends or I can have somebody to play with.

“I play because it makes me feel alive.” – London, 8


How do you feel when you play?
I feel good. I play because it makes me feel alive.

How do you feel when you don’t get to play?
I feel bad when I’m not playing.

What does play mean to you?
Play means to me that I have a lot of fun when I play with my friends and everything.

“Through play, I’m changing my life.” – Darius, 11


How do you feel when you play?
When I play, I feel excited. I feel joyful. I feel good when I play with my friends. I feel alive, especially when more friends join in.

How do you feel when you don’t get to play?
I feel sad, bored. I hate it when I’m not playing.

What have you accomplished through play?
I accomplished medals and trophies.

What are your dreams for the future?
I want to go to school for soccer and learn. Through play, I want to get a great education and play a sport that I love the most.

Donate balls to organizations

For organizations like Detroit PAL, One World Futbols are an invaluable and often much-needed resource. You can donate these ultra-durable soccer balls to organizations like Detroit PAL today.