Soccer Recycle is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Downtown United Soccer Club, New York, NY. Since the beginning of Soccer Recycle, DUSC families have contributed uniforms, shoes and enthusiastic manpower to Soccer Recycle's endeavors. With the new partnership, club-wise events, tournaments and collection drives will further support the program and create community services and travel opportunities for DUSC players. The partnership also enables supporters to make tax deductible donations to DUSC, specially earmaked for the Soccer Recycle program.
What We Do
Soccer Recycle collects new and gently used soccer uniforms and redistributes them to needy programs around the world. We engage youth volunteers to promote social responsibility and foster a lifetime commitment to public service.
What We Need
- Soccer shoes (cleats, turf or indoor)
- Shin guards.
- Goalkeeper jerseys.
- Goalkeeper gloves.
- Soccer balls.
- Large military style duffel bags.
How to Help
- Donate your old uniforms.
- Run a collection drive at your school or soccer club.
- Sort and pack donations.
- Be a courier.
Featured Courier: Simon Russell
In May 2011, Adventure Photographer Simon Russell traveled to Ile-A-Vache, Haiti to deliver uniforms, cleats and soccer balls to four schools participating the First Annual Ile-A-Vache Soccer Recycle tournament. His notes form Haiti:
"We finally arrived on Ile-A-Vache at 11PM, under a spectacular blanket of stars. The sky was crystal clear, and the ocean was as flat as a mirror, reflecting all that was above it. It had been a 9-hour adventure -or ordeal, depending on one's perspective, from Port au Prince to Les Cayes, a city onthe Southwest coast of Haiti.
Once in this dusty coastal city, we jumped from a derelict-looking dock, into an open boat and motored for 40 minutes to Ile-A-Vache, Cow Island. The morning broke with roosters crowing at 4AM. I was awake and ready to rumble, albeit bleary-eyed, after an endlessly punctuated night's sleep-the almond tree above my chalet had bombarded the tin roof of my abode all night with nuts, which when they hit the roof, sounded more like coconuts, half scaring the pajamas off me!
The first game had been set for Friday, at least via ll the emails Patrick and I had been sending each other the preceding two weeks. However, when I arrived the schedule had changed! The first game was set for that very evening. Sauny, my guide and moslt likely the "unofficial" mayor of Ile-A-Vache, introduced me to Jerome, the soccer organizer on the island. The three of us went thru all the gear and selected the sizes that would fit the players best. At 4PM the kids from Ecole du Village and Ecole de Etoile du Matin received their uniforms and marched to the soccer pitch for the first game of the Ile-A-Vache Soccer Tournament. They played two 45-minute halves of exciting, energetic soccer, complete with referees and line judges. While the rules of the game were much like any DUSC game, this play was a lot rougher -crazy tackling, legs up high, and when anyone scored, ALL the spectators would run onto the field screaming and singing with joy! Each time, it took light beatings with palm fronds to get everyone off the field so that play could resume. Etoile du Matin finally won the game 2-1.
The second game was set for Friday, so as the sun was low in the sky and the heat had dissipated a little, Ecole du Village faced NAtional, a team from Ca Coq. Once again 200-300 people showed up to see the game and there was much rejoicing after each goal. As the sun finally set over the coconut trees, National pulled off a win 3-2.
The third and final game was between National and Ecole Communautaire do Trou Milieu. The clear, cool evenings of the past days had passed and a wild, tropical storm on Saturday night had brought in the heat and humidity with a vengeance. The air was heavy, ladened with the smell of salt and the unmistakable aroma of tropical greenery. The kids were sweaty, even though the match had not yet started, and there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. Crickey the air was loaded with stuff!!!
The game was played much as the previous two games had been played -with skill, highly charged competitiveness, and overall good spirits. At the end of 90 minutes it was a tie game 2-2. Five minutes of overtime was played and then it finally came down to penalty kicks. Now the crowd went really crazy -it made the "spectators on the field" antics look like babies playing in the sandbox! Imagine 200 people crating a tight circle around the goal, with barely enough space for the kicker to get a running start. Well, this was not going to fly for Jerome who wanted to maintain a "basic set of rules" for spectator interaction, so he quite simply took the ball from the penalty spot and walked off with it to the sideline. Meanwhile, the line judges and referee (and just about anyone else felt like it) went about with the palm fronds, gently swatting away the kids, the main perpetrators of the mayhem. After ten minutes of swatting, play resumed and each team took their penalty kicks. National won the tournament and trophies and speeches followed, with thanks given to the players, coaches and organizers. Sauny and Jerome thanked Soccer Recycle and Ile-A-Vache Development Group and the asked me to get up and give a speech about the tournament. I tell ya, it was brilliant! Can't wait to get down there again.
Simon Russell is an adventure Photographer based in New York City. He will be making a documentary about his trip to Haiti. Please enjoy more of Simon's photographs.
Soccer Recycle will continue to accept uniforms and equipment from other clubs. Jerseys, shorts and socks are matched with similar uniforms and stored until full team kits are assembled and ready for delivery. Unmatched items are re-donated to an appropriate program such as The Favela Project (favelaproject.org).
To make a donation to Soccer Recycle, make your check out to "DUSC" and mail to: DUSC, 332 Bleecker St PMB D-12, New York, NY 10014, with "Soccer Recycle Donation" in the remarks section.
* All photos by Simon Russell.