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Oct 02, 2017

Holmdel FC/NJX Spurs Bring Out Volunteers of All Ages

Donations came in quickly and sorting began.

As with most towns, Holmdel’s Football Club (HFC)/NJX is comprised of dozens of volunteers, from the executive board to the coaches and team managers across HFC and NJX. These volunteers come out to help support their children playing a game that they are just beginning to learn – or have been passionately playing for years. Parents and siblings also come out to help with goal moving, tournament parking, snack stands, and much more.

While it’s great to see the parents coming out to help, it’s even more impressive when you see the players volunteer. Such was the case with 12-year-old Victoria (Vic) Scholz, who plays for NJX Spurs 04. She and her family live in Belford and were severely impacted by Hurricane Irene years ago. Vic lost a large majority of her house, including all of her belongings in her playroom. Watching CNN coverage of Hurricane Harvey with her mom one night recently, it all came back to her. Vic wanted to do something to help; she just didn’t know what. The next day, on her way back from soccer practice at Cross Farms, she said, “Can you imagine not being able to play soccer? That’d be so sad.” And so, the idea was born. When Vic and her mom Rosie got home, they searched Houston Youth Soccer teams, they found Houston Express SC and Vic sent an email. They got a return email 15 minutes later from Michelle Romero, Express SC (soon to be renamed Houston The Rising).  Initially, they were all hoping for a few pairs of cleats and some balls. “When you lose everything, the last thing on your mind is soccer gear, but it would be an amazing thing,” said Michelle. Vic and Rosie have been keeping Michelle in the loop on donations, and the response has been overwhelming.

Vic made up flyers and passed them around towns. Her mom helped spread the word with parents and it snowballed. Vic and some other NJX players collected new and slightly used gear at Cross Farms for four hours one Sunday during soccer games and spent most of the time sorting the items. The Holmdel FC/NJX families came out in full force to donate. Holmdel FC president Colleen Cook said, “I am always so proud of all our club accomplishes on the field, but it is things like this that make me most proud to be associated with our club; an outstanding group of players, coaches, and families. HFC provided an avenue and opportunity for a player to give back to our larger soccer community and the sport that she loves.”

Vic and Rosie reached out to the local women’s pro team, Sky Blue, and asked if Vic could put up a tent at their game against Washington to collect more. Some of the Sky Blue players, like Kelly O’Hara, tweeted out, “Make sure you get your new or used soccer gear to bring to our game tomorrow to send to Houston!  Got mine all ready.” She shared a picture of a dozen pairs of brand new Under Armour cleats, and Vic had some her NJX teammates join her to help with the collections.

Rosie is a schoolteacher in Union County, so she also shared the fliers there and has been receiving donations at her school, as well. Next there was the daunting task of sorting a garage full of cleats, balls, warm-up suits, sweatshirts, and more. While they were starting to worry about how to get all the donations to the kids in Houston, another NJX family that has a transportation company came to the rescue. They graciously offered to box and transport all of the items to Houston, free of charge.

As they say, you only need a great idea and the desire to see it through, and it will all fall into place. The final count of donations included 173 pairs of cleats, 64 shin guards, 170 balls, 16 pairs of goalie gloves, 87 soccer bags, 481 shirts, 113 water bottles, 11 sports bras, 22 pinnies, 215 pairs of socks, 56 pairs of sneakers, 17 warm-up pants, 98 cones, one team bench, prewrap, 73 shorts, four pieces of fitness equipment, two soccer scarves, $450 in Amazon gift cards, $25 in Visa gift cards, $25 in Foot Locker gift cards, and $125 in cash.