Sal’s Inspiration

Fourteen year old Sal Sprofera, a former student at Dale Street School, was so touched by stories about children at Tsungirirai that he dedicated himself to re-starting the soccer team at the agency. He ran a can drive, contacted local businesses for donations and spearheaded a uniform and cleat drive.

In 2006, Sal Sprofera was a fifth grader in Ms. Sager’s class in Medfield, MA. Each November, Dale Street School teachers organize a Hunger Awareness Program to teach their fourth and fifth grade students about world hunger and what they can do about it. Over the years, Dale Street students have raised a huge amount of money to feed orphans at Tsungirirai. Their first donation, in 2002, was $700, but each year the amount seems to grow. The year that Sal was in Ms. Sager’s class, Dale Street made a contribution of $4,500. In a letter that he wrote in June of 2007 to an incoming fifth grader Sal said, “The biggest thing we did in my opinion all year was the money collection and hunger awareness presentation….it is heartwarming, knowing that you are helping the poor and needy.”

It is obvious that the Hunger Awareness Program has made a lasting impression on Sal because now, three years later, he is spearheading a fundraiser called Cans-4-Kicks.  For the past year he has been collecting cans so he can purchase equipment like soccer balls, cones and nets for orphans at Tsungirirai to re-start their soccer team.  Sal himself plays soccer and states, “If I didn’t play soccer, then I don’t know what I would be doing after school.  I thought, why should I get to play and not the kids at Tsungirirai? The game makes me part of a team.  The kids at Tsungirirai should also have the opportunity to be part of a team.” Sal has also organized a cleat drive at his school and asked his soccer team to donate soccer gear.  He has encouraged Mass Premier Soccer (MPS) to donate nearly enough jerseys and shorts for both practice and game uniforms, as well as a load of socks and a few backpacks.

Sal’s former teacher (now a C4C board member), Ms. Bethany Sager, is overwhelmed by Sal’s dedication to reawaken the soccer team at Tsungirirai. “As a teacher, you can’t hope for anything better than for a student to be so impacted by a lesson that he has to act. Sal is working tirelessly to make a difference. I’m so proud of him for his efforts, dedication, and devotion.”

The new team started practicing on May 1, 2010.

Note from Arden
In August of 2010, Sal and his mother traveled to Tsungirirai to deliver the items and spend time with the children. Sal’s drive and passion to help others not only inspired me, but also the current Director of Tsungirirai who said, “Sal has helped us with material things, but he has taught us something. The boys on the soccer team now have faith in the world. In humanity. Imagine, someone from across the world cares about them enough to raise money and visit them. They can’t understand it, yet they are inspired. They all want to be like Sal.”

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