Offers Care-Kits to Opponents’ Needy
If there is one concern of every parent when entering their kids into youth sports, it is “what is the quality of the team’s coach?” We all hope the coach offers a fun, positive experience that teaches sportsmanship, and encourages a budding athlete to develop.
Outside of the school season, Acalanes girls’ soccer Head Coach Sasha Chalak along with his Assistant Coach Jubin Dana work together coaching club soccer for West Valley Vision Soccer Club in the South Bay. Coach Dana proposed to his 2006 (U12) girls’ team a Care-Kit project in the Spring of 2017, that was designed to give the girls a greater life experience from their soccer activities. They wanted to promote social awareness and teach them simple deeds that anyone can undertake to help the community. The girls prepared several Care-Kits to give to their opposing team’s captains at the start of each game with the request that they distribute them to someone in need in their community. It was so well received, that it is something that they hope to do annually in the club setting.
“We decided to pass this service project along to the Acalanes Girls Soccer Program with the intent to raise awareness among our youth athletes; that learning the importance of service and philanthropy is just as important, IF NOT MORE important than the actual sport. If we are in a position to support, aide and give back to the less fortunate, then it is our obligation to do so,” says Chalak. Both Acalanes Varsity and JV Girls soccer teams are participating in the project this season.
Interestingly, this is not an official Acalanes High School project. The inspiration, execution, and responsibility of this learning experience rests solely on Coaches Chalak and Dana, as well as the enthusiastic cooperation of the players. In fact, the Acalanes administration may not even know about it. It would have gone virtually unnoticed If it weren’t for an impressed center referee who witnessed the opening exchange of the Care-kits at one of the games and alertly contacted Diablo Gazette.
The Care-Kits are made up of a plethora of items such as tissue pack, comb, soap, thermal blanket, socks, Granola Bars, hand lotion, lip balm, toothpaste, tooth brush, friendship bracelet, shampoo, and conditioner. The items were purchased in bulk off Amazon.com. In addition, each player was asked to write a letter on a 3×5 index card. Each Care-Kit also included one of the letters from the players. We allowed for the players to write a little something special that they would want the receiver of this Care-Kit to read.
“The girls made 100 Care-kits in total. We had assembled enough kits to where every opponent that we play would receive two Care-Kits at the opening coin toss. Then the leftover kits were given to the Acalanes players to distribute on their own.
Our hat goes off to Coach Chalak and Coach Dana for going above and way beyond the coaching call-of-duty, What an outstanding initiative indeed.