PITTSBURGH – Open Field, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives of youth through sport has teamed up with Soccer Source, the only remaining soccer store in the Pittsburgh region, to give the joy of soccer to kids from around the world – right here in Pittsburgh and in Cameroon, Africa, too. Right now, anyone who wishes to support this effort can donate online to purchase soccer equipment or buy some items directly from the store on Perry Highway in McCandless.
Members of the soccer community in Pittsburgh have been supporting Open Field for years with gently used soccer equipment donations. Founder and CEO Justin Forzano has been shipping items to Cameroon a few times a year, whenever he has enough to fill a couple of barrels to send in a shipping container. There are a few things that Forzano explained he does not often receive in donations.
“We always get soccer cleats, soccer balls, jerseys, and other player equipment. Sometimes we get old referee gear, which we always appreciate. We rarely get coaching gear, items like whistles, stop watches, disc cones, and bibs/pinnies.”
Open Field’s staff in Cameroon, on behalf of the dozen coaches and community leaders who run programming for nearly 1,000 youth, expressed a real desire for these items to be included in the next shipment.
“My first thought was to create an Amazon Wish List,” Forzano said, which is something that nonprofits often create with items their supporters can simply purchase and have shipped directly to them. “But then I linked up with Soccer Source and I knew we had to do something different.”
The partnership began when an Open Field supporter was getting his kids’ soccer cleats at the North Hills store and was sharing about the organization’s work with refugee and immigrant kids in low resource communities around Pittsburgh. That’s when Scott Longo, the owner of Soccer Source, mentioned he had some girls’ soccer cleats from last season that he likely wasn’t going to sell and needed to find a good use for them. It just so happens that Open Field is expanding their girls’ programs in 2021 thanks to support from Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh and the FISA Foundation. Before long, Longo and Forzano came up with a new initiative for the Pittsburgh community to give back and make a difference through soccer.
In the month of April, anyone can purchase a soccer ball or a bundle of coaching items at Soccer Source or on Open Field’s website: https://openfieldintl.org/donations/soccersource/
All proceeds will support a local business and provide much-needed soccer equipment to more than 1,000 youth in Pittsburgh and in Cameroon, Africa.
About Open Field
Open Field’s mission is to improve the lives and futures of youth through sport. Since 2010, Open Field’s global team has engaged more than 4,000 youth in educational soccer programming, mentoring relationships, travel abroad experiences, and cultural exchange in Cameroon, Africa and now Pittsburgh, PA. Our approach to Sport for Social Impact empowers youth to be leaders in their community and gain skills to help them succeed on and off the field.
To learn more about the life-changing work of Open Field, visit www.openfieldintl.org
For quotes and/or additional information, contact:
Justin Forzano / email@example.com / 304-281-5649 / IG @openfieldintl