By: Daniel Wyatt
It all started as one idea on a field with no players and no teams and no screaming, supportive fans. But the place where this idea will end up will include all of that and more. One by One started its attempt to form soccer teams in Costa Rica by having a fundraiser at our house during the Summer of 2011. This fundraiser was a success in many ways -- in the money that we raised and, more importantly, in how we were able to get the word about the program out there. It was a small step in a large journey of helping teens in San Jose.
We knew that the next step necessary for getting what we needed for the program was to get equipment. We went to organizations such as The North Mecklenburg Soccer Club and got equipment donations from them and from people who had seen the website, and we soon had enough equipment (soccer balls, shorts, shoes) to send down to Costa Rica. We sent donations that totaled six thousand dollars and the equipment in August of 2011, and the hope was to have 44 players (two teams of twenty two) participating, but 64 boys showed up and Pastor Padilla included them all! Now, the One by One soccer program has over 100 teens with boys and girls teams, and with coaches and trainers from Vuelo de Aguila.
The program is growing exponentially, and so we are now trying to find a way to fund the program in an efficient and permanent way. Some of the ideas include buying a field to practice on and to rent out (to provide a permanent source of funding) or acquiring other land. Right now our immediate goal is to continue to fund the soccer teams, to find funds to acquire land (which will cost several hundred thousand dollars), and to send down more equipment (especially shoes) for the players. Thank you for all your support that has made this program a huge and immediate success!