Thursday, January 8, 2009

NEWS FROM CHICAGO: The Good Contagion

This message comes from Jason Holmes of our affiliate HESED HOUSE. Read to the end to see the ripple effect of positive programming.

"Things have been so great around here. I finally found a replacement at assistant coach. Mike, our new assistant coach, has a great soccer background and is also bi-lingual. He played soccer in Guatemala for a while and is well versed in the game. I’m real excited to have him on board. He’s got great spirit and is completely in line with what this program is all about. Also our team is getting a lot of support from their peers here at the shelter and a lot of our guests not on the team plan on coming to next Tuesdays game to watch and cheer our team on. We have been seeing some great results from our players and I couldn’t be more proud of them both on and off the soccer pitch. Our game next week will be covered by the Chicago Tribune and the Beacon Newspapers. I’ll be sure to get you links to the articles or send hard copies when they are available. Also I plan on getting some video footage and putting it up on the website. A church member donated a video camera to the team for filming practices and games.

Also at today’s director’s meeting I handed around a copy of the People article. I’ve been doing my best to spread the word to everyone I come in to contact with. Everyone has been so supportive of the program and a lot of people are on board with a sports-based solution to homelessness.

Hesed House is so very proud to be involved in this great program. You’ve inspired me to a new level and I can’t thank you enough. Thank you for all that you do.

One last thing….the soccer program has motivated others at the shelter to get involved in other sorts of esteem building activities. A woman here at the shelter asked me when I was going to start a type of program she’s interested in. I replied with, “What are you interested in?” She said she wanted to lose weight for the New Year. With her idea and our help, we put together this “Biggest Loser” Hesed House program and just had our weigh in Monday. We have 7 guests here at the shelter participating and 4 staff members! All of this was inspired by what the soccer team is doing! Enthusiasm is contagious!"

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