RANDOLPH, NJ- A high school student is collecting pre-owned, but gently used, soccer equipment for the charitable organization called SEND (Soccer Equipment Neighborhood Drive). Donations will be shipped to less fortunate children, both in the United States and around the world, in countries such as Kenya, Peru, and the Philippines.
James Saccone, a senior at Randolph Township High School, has started a local drive in Randolph. He has collected over three hundred soccer items including soccer balls, cleats, slides, shin guards, socks, pinnies, drawstring bags, sports backpacks, goalie gloves, soccer uniforms and other miscellaneous equipment and clothing.
James has been playing soccer from the age of 4. He played with the Randolph Soccer Club for five years before starting his three year high school career with the Parsippany Soccer Club NYCSL-NPL team, Stealth. He was the captain of the Randolph High School Freshman and JV teams and is currently on the Varsity team.
“I outgrew so many cleats, shin guards, and apparel throughout the years. I wanted to give them to families that might not be able to afford them,” said James Saccone. After reading stories of the poor conditions children were playing soccer in, he wanted to start a branch of SEND in his neighborhood.
"Children often play soccer barefoot without the protection of shin guards or proper clothing and homemade soccer balls. These makeshift soccer balls are usually made of materials they can find at hand; such as plastic bags, rubber bands, old rags, strings and tree bark; lasting only a few days before becoming unusable." stated Saccone. "It's hard to imagine trying to kick, pass, or dribble with a self-made soccer ball."
Saccone knew his equipment could never be enough, he would need contributions from other soccer players. In the past two years, he has established two permanent drop-off locations in Randolph with Kozack Sports Center and Soccer Evolution. Recently, he has branched out into Morris County, with two additional drop-off sites; Soccer Post in Morristown and JAG Physical Therapy in Cedar Knolls.
Saccone said, “I am very grateful for the generous donations made by the community and the proprietors of the drop-off locations. The soccer equipment is more than just recreational for the recipients..self-esteem, team work, healthy minds and bodies are just a few of the benefits of playing soccer.”
Saccone enjoys spending his free time on the soccer fields, socializing with his friends, and participating in charity work. His first priority is SEND closely followed by Feeding America. As the president and founder of the Italian Club, he and his more than 60 members have raised over 6,000 meals for Feeding America. The club hopes to reach their goal of 10,000 meals this school year. Over the summer, he completed his second year with Hope Builders. An organization designed to rebuild or renovate homes for needy families.
Saccone utilizes the slogan “You donate, We SEND” for his soccer equipment drive. Monetary donations are welcomed to help defray shipping cost. Any type of soccer equipment will be accepted either by group/team donations or individual donation, as long as the equipment is in fairly good condition.
Soccer equipment donations can be dropped off at any of the four locations:
Kozak Sports Center 6 Middlebury Boulevard Randolph, NJ 07869
Soccer Evolution 500 New Jersey 10 Randolph, NJ 07869
Soccer Post 139 Morris Street Morristown, NJ 07960
JAG Physical Therapy 240 Cedar Knolls Road Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927
Or contact James Saccone at email@example.com
For further information about SEND visit their facebook or twitter page @SENDcharity
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