PAINESVILLE, Ohio— The Lake Erie College men's soccer teams plays throughout the Midwest on a yearly basis, so seeing the Storm's green and white uniforms in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana is not an uncommon site. But usually, the last place you'd expect to find Storm soccer gear is in Africa.
But that is exactly where head coach David Carmichael and the team are helping make a difference and use soccer as a life-changing tool.
Field of Dreams Uganda, based out of Evansville, Ind., provides hope for the orphaned and vulnerable children of Uganda through the vehicles of soccer and education. Soccer is a great passion of children in the country and through this organization, each orphanage is provided with field upgrades and equipment to participate in at least two tournaments a year. Local coaches are hired to teach the children not only soccer, but life skills including team work, discipline and work ethic, which they use to succeed both on and off the field.
This summer, the Storm and Carmichael made a substantial equipment donation to the organization, providing game jerseys, shorts, socks, shoes and other items to support the cause.
"Thank you so much to Lake Erie College men's soccer program for their generous donation and for advancing the world's most beloved game far beyond our nation's borders," said Michael Warneke, Executive Director of Field of Dreams Uganda. "The kids that receive this equipment will fell like kings and queens when they realize that it shall be theirs to keep!"
"We are delighted to have partnered up with Field of Dreams Uganda this past Spring. We are thankful and inspired that we can help provide hope in the lives of children in Uganada through this beautiful game," said Carmichael. "The mission that Michael Warneke and his staff have created has allowed us to put our unused soccer gear and equipment to great use. When we received photographs of these children in Uganda playing soccer in our green and white uniforms, it really made us appreciate what we have here at Lake Erie College."
Among the items donated were uniforms and gently used soccer socks and shoes, donated by the team, players and parents. Coach Carmichael plans to partner with Field of Dreams Uganda further in the future on a coaches mission trip to Uganda in December 2014 to help contribute first hand.
More information on the charity can be found on their website, http://www.fieldsofdreamsuganda.org/