Don’t Tread On Me

Share Button

           The World Cup, a spectacle that comes around every four years; an event that brings the top talent from all across the world and showcases them on one stage. In 2014, that stage will be Brazil. Next year marks the twentieth World Cup. It will be quite the show, with some of the best countries like Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil the host, and of course the U.S.A competing for the championship.                          Some would say with the new look of the American side, they have the best shot in over a decade of making a real run for the glory. There are a plethora of new players, with talents coming home from clubs all over the world. For instance, we have multiple players in Barclay’s (Altidore, Howard and Geoff Cameron, to name a few, are with Sunderland, Everton and Stoke). In Germany, Jermaine Jones is at Shalke and Fabian Johnson is at Hoffenheim. We also have a handful of players competing in Mexico, and others in France and Belgium. This National team is much different than ones in the past. We have players competing at the highest level all over the globe, experiencing top class soccer, diversifying their game and making them a better team for the U.S.A.

           In 2014, team U.S.A. has a chance to do something Sam’s Army has never done: win the world cup. This year, we have already beat some of the world’s highest ranked teams. Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and our rivals Mexico. But could this really be America’s chance to succeed in the soccer world and get out of the shadows? Only time will tell if the likes of Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Josy Altidore and the rest of the boys in red, white and blue will come alive under the bright lights. They have already qualified but we will have to wait until December 6th to see whom we face in group play.

Until then, grab yourselves some national team gear and wave your American flag high and proud as we await the marvelous stage, always remembering the team’s slogan, “Don’t tread on me”.

Victor Valley Rescue Mission Serve Project

Share Button

kitchen crew2

After our 2013 summer camp in Apple Valley we took our campers and some of their parents over to Victor Valley Rescue Mission for an afternoon of serving the homeless and needy in our community. Brett Croft, pictured to the left in the center top of the photo, has been a coach for us for the last two years. Brett also joined us for the serve project and here is what he had to say about it!

Having the opportunity to serve alongside kids is an experience that teaches you humility and encourages you to go and serve the people around the world more and more. The benefit the community sees from kids serving is two fold. First and for most, the people who are less fortunate and need some help are getting the essentials that they need to live and support themselves and their families. The second fold is that young children get the opportunity to serve, which shows them that no matter their age they can always help in some way. I truly believe that the kids that were able to serve will remember this event for a long time, and hopefully this opportunity will help these kids in the future make good decisions as well as influence them to serve their community many more times in the future. Having a servant’s heart is something that is very rare to see in today’s world. To see so many kids serving the less fortunate is something that encourages you for what the future holds. Even though we do not control the future, it is uplifting to see our future politicians, doctors, athletes, moms, and dads serving their community, which I truly believe will be something that sticks with them for the rest of their lives.

God Bless,
Brett Croft
The Masters College #10
Psalms 115:1

Click the link below to see pictures of Brett and the rest of our team at the Rescue Mission!

Serve Project Pics

FG2W Appreciation Party

Share Button

About six months ago we decided that it was time for us to bring all our friends and family together for a celebration of what we’ve accomplished over the last three years. We debated constantly about that would look like. Would it be a fundraiser or a rager? Would we have it at the beach with a bonfire or at some classy country club? Would there be a tiger or a bear? We just didn’t know. So for months we dreamt big and came up with as many sweet ideas as we possibly could. Here is what emerged on July 13, 2013. If you didn’t make it to the party, you can live vicariously through this video. And hopefully you can come out next year! – FG2W Team

 

My Walk for Water

Share Button

Lucas StaffWhen I first moved to Uganda I knew there were going to be things that I didn’t understand. But I thought that if there were one thing that I would understand, that it would be the water issue. With all the work and learning Olivia, Kala, and I have done involving water issues in Uganda, I thought that I was an expert. I thought that being in Uganda was merely so I could see it with my own eyes and that seeing it wouldn’t really teach me much more. Well, I was wrong.

Living in Uganda I see the struggles people go through everyday concerning water. I see kids with a look of thirst on their face carrying water from afar that is half their body weight. I see mothers with babies on their backs carrying jerry cans filled with eighteen liters (weighing about 40 pounds) of water on their heads. Actually seeing these struggles first hand and not just reading about them made everything very real for me and made the things From Goals to Wells is doing, much more important.

I was able to visit the home of a good Ugandan friend, Anena Susan to go on a walk for water with her. It’s about a 30 minute walk to Susan’s home and I got there at 6:30am to find that Susan was already working, just waiting for me so we could go get water. We started walking with our four jerry cans and I was just taking it all in, realizing that I am doing this once and she, like many other Africans, does this every morning. After walking for about fifteen minutes we finally reached the borehole where everyone in that community gets their water. There was a big line of about ten people all with at least two jerry cans. So we waited, and as we were waiting I was looking around and everyone was looking at me wondering why there was a Mzungu (someone who isn’t African) getting water with the rest of them. I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking, was it shame, embarrassment, honor, or curiosity? Maybe it was all of those things but eventually they stopped looking at me and went on with their other tasks like washing their feet or scrubbing their jerry cans of any filth.

When it became our turn to fill up our cans Susan gave me some soap and showed me how to scrub away the dirt and grime. Before I knew it, it was time to fill our cans with water. The filling process didn’t take long and we each took our two jerry cans top of the hill away from all of the people.

Displaying IMG_1960.jpeg

Susan placed some fabric for cushion on her head and struggled to bring her eighteen-liter can atop her head. I then did the same thing only I didn’t have fabric for cushion so I just placed it on my shoulder. We were on our way back and again people started staring, surprised that I was doing the hard work of the locals.

As we were walking back I got some good insight to the rigorous task of getting water, something I have taken for granted my whole life. I walked back with Susan asking questions about her life and how she felt about having to get water away from her house everyday. She said she didn’t know any other way so that was normal to her. We took our second trip to get the remaining water and by the time we had finished the sun was shining bright. It took us all morning to get do a simple task like getting water she was now ready to make tea and start her daily chores.

After I had this experience I did a lot of thinking and it made me realize the importance of From Goals to Wells. I was able to see first hand how important it was to have access to clean water, not only for drinking but for cooking and cleaning as well. We at From Goals to Wells have a dream to provide all of Uganda with access to clean water and we are doing something about it. I encourage everyone to find a dream and work hard to fulfill it.

It Isn’t Easy to Change Lives

Share Button

Kala Staff PhotoWhen my best friend, Olivia Hinkle, first told me she was going to go to Uganda I was so excited for her. I was a little jealous too. The church we attended at the time was always talking about Uganda and companies we really liked such as Invisible Children and Krochet Kids both do amazing work there. At 19 years old, we already had a growing infatuation with “The Pearl of Africa”. But I was still playing college soccer, and was so focused on going pro after college that I wasn’t ready to step away to spend a few weeks in Africa. So I watched her leave without me on an adventure that would end up changing both of our lives.

If you had a chance to read our last blog post, you know all about how incredibly humbled Olivia was by her trip and the strong urge she felt when she returned to find some way to make a difference in the lives of rural villagers she met. As she shared these feelings and the stories of Uganda with Lucas and I, we too, began to feel a greater calling to make a difference in the lives of people in Uganda. We started brainstorming and it became obvious fairly quickly that providing water was where our hearts were moving.

From there, we had a good friend help us come up with a model for an organization: We would run youth soccer camps as often as we could (while we finished college and continued playing soccer) and we’d use all the money we raised from the camps to bring clean water to Ugandans. That’s still the model we are working with today. Three years later, we’ve held two camps and are approaching our third (to be held July 8-12 in Apple Valley, CA), we’ve built a water filtration system in a village of about 2,000 people and we’ve provided water pumps for rural villagers to allow them a more efficient means of farming.

Lira Wall black background

The last three years have been an incredibly exciting and humbling experience as we’ve constantly learned how much more we need to learn in order to effectively make a difference. It isn’t easy to change lives. I’m not sure why, but I think that if it were, it wouldn’t be as meaningful.  But we’ve done it. It is possible. In the last post, Olivia ended by saying “how was a 19 year old girl supposed to make a difference in the lives of a community 9,000 miles away?” I’ll end this post by saying that ANYONE can make a difference in a community they care about, no matter how crazy it seems.

Kala Gabler is a co-founder of From Goals to Wells. Kala enjoys lots and lots of books, coffee and comfy socks (calf length preferred). Kala can be reached at kala@fg2w.org.

How Uganda Changed My Life

Share Button

olivia staff

In 2010 I left the United States for the first time to fly over 9,000 miles to Uganda. Though it was my first out of the country experience, I was prepared. I prayed, read articles, watched videos and went to weekly trainings. I knew what to pack, I knew what Uganda looked like, I knew that it was a country in recovery from civil war and I knew that I would be in rural villages where people had much less than I did. Those are the things I knew, but there were also many things that I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that I would feel ashamed of my wealth. I didn’t know I would be embarrassed about the fact that I had bottled water. I didn’t know I would feel awkward eating a granola bar in front of the Ugandan children. I didn’t know that spending two weeks in Uganda would forever change the way I live my life.

My role in Uganda was to play soccer with the kids while their parents received medical treatment. As I played, the sun burned my skin and the constant dirt that flew in my face made me feel dehydrated quickly. I took multiple breaks to drink from my water bottle and before realizing I was the only one who did that. All the energetic children running around never stopped to get water. After looking around I realized there was NOWHERE for them to get water. The medical building had no running water, there was no well or water pump in sight and I seemed to be the only one with a water bottle in hand. I didn’t understand, I know kids have more energy than I do but even when I had coached in the US the kids asked for water breaks constantly.

blog1

I asked a man who was traveling with us why the kids don’t ever stop to drink water. He told me that they would have to walk all the way to the pump in the next village and they didn’t want to miss out on playing soccer with a real ball. This was hard to hear. The kids seemed happy but it was not fair that to get a drink of water meant them missing out on such a rare occurrence of playing with an actual soccer ball. So I continued to play with the kids and continued to drink water from my plastic bottle and continued to feel a pit in my stomach from the shame I felt.

When I got home, I missed Uganda everyday. I missed the big smiles, loud singing, and having orange soda with every meal. Those things popped into my mind often but the thing that I couldn’t push out of my mind was the shame I felt for having more than I needed. When I spoke with other people who I traveled with they told me to do something about it. They said that if I had the resources to help, then I should. That sounded like a great idea. But how was a 19 year old girl supposed to make a difference in a community that is over 9,000 miles away?

Olivia Hinkle is a Co-Founder of From Goals to Wells. She enjoys rock climbing, thrift shopping and coffee. She can be reached at olivia@fg2w.org. Stay posted to see how Liv’s story led to the start of FG2W.