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Local nonprofit on a mission to collect soccer balls for immigrant children

Posted at 5:58 PM, Dec 10, 2020

PHOENIX — Bringing joy and changing someone’s day can be so simple, yet it makes so much of a difference in the world.

The nonprofit organization Me Hug has a mission this holiday season, to make sure every little boy and girl inside Arizona’s immigration shelters have a soccer ball to play with this Christmas.

“It’s been a very hard year for us outside the shelters, now imagine them inside,” expressed Everk Sanchez, Director of the nonprofit Me Hug.

Sanchez says he used to volunteer at these shelters and witnessed the need the children have to feel loved. He says he wants to make a difference with a small act of kindness by donating 300 soccer balls for 300 kids living inside immigration shelters.

“Imagine if a volunteer or employee at the shelter comes to you and says, ‘Here it is, someone out there is thinking about you and wants something good for you.' The children or the teenager would then ask themselves, ‘Who’s thinking about me? Does anyone in this country want something good for me?’ So just by answering that question, the soccer ball would have a positive impact,” said Sanchez.

That same positive impact is what Tairon Ramos says he experienced five years ago when he received a gift inside a shelter.

“It was like a radio with headphones. It was so nice because I could listen to music and I love music. So, it was the perfect gift,” stated Ramos, who now has a career in music.

But getting to where Ramos is now wasn’t easy.

“I experienced hunger, difficult moments that break you. I cried too much, but God was always with me.”

Ramos says a soccer ball could really make a difference.

“It has a great meaning to us. All I did at the shelter was think, ‘When am I going to get out of there?’ You feel frustrated. So, getting a soccer ball, a gift can really do some magic.”

He says these gifts make the children forget about everything.

“It gives you an opportunity to play and a chance to have some fun.”

But there’s no fun if they can’t get the 300 soccer balls on time, and their deadline is on Tuesday, Dec.15.

“I know it’s hard. We all have had a hard year. But it’s just a soccer ball if you think about it. A soccer ball only costs about 10 dollars, and you will change a life forever,” expressed Sanchez.

If you would like to donate to their cause, click here.