Our names are Leila Lyions, Bela Jimenez, and Morgan Pearson and we play for the U-11 White Team. For our community service project, we helped the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Oakland with their annual Thanksgiving Day dinner event. This event introduces incoming refugees to Thanksgiving. We collected hygiene products, craft supplies, and soccer balls from donations. With these donations we put together 33 bags for the refugees. We also made tons of rainbow loom bracelets for the kids.
At the church, we played soccer in the pouring rain with some of the kids. Eventually, it started to pour so hard we couldn’t play outside so they said we could play in the hall. We also helped the kids make ornaments, paper snowflakes, origami, and we helped them draw. The ornaments were supposed to have a little reindeer on them, but kids got really creative and made up their own ideas.
At the event, we met many different families including the most recent Syrian family who just escaped a civil war two weeks prior to the event. Their family didn’t speak English and had a little girl that was in a wheelchair and a boy with curly hair. The mom was pregnant with her third child. We also met a girl, older than us, who loved soccer and has two younger brothers. They were from the Middle East. She was really friendly and had a lot of things in common with us. She helped us a lot with the kids. From this experience we had a lot of fun and everyone was very happy and said that this had been their favorite feast ever!