For the past eight years, I have witnessed the good work that members of our FC Dallas family have been involved with in their communities locally and globally. I’ve realized that not many people know how so many here at FC Dallas donate their talents and resources to help others through sports and soccer in particular.
Our players. What can I say? We’ve got some big hearts in the locker room. They visit schools, work with nonprofit groups and engage in the FC Dallas Foundation’s projects. They also find time to be involved in their communities locally and at home.
Maynor Figueroa has generously given of his talents and resources to his native Honduras. Last year he donated funds to create a computer lab in an underserved village in New Armenia, Honduras. Currently, I’m working with Maynor to find the right fit for him to engage in Dallas/Fort Worth.
Then there is 2017 MLS Humanitarian of the Year, Ryan Hollingshead who earned the honor when he selflessly helped a stranded motorist and was injured in the process. This is just one act by a person of great character that performs many acts of kindness and generosity. After being drafted in 2013, Ryan chose not to accept so that he could build a church in Sacramento and volunteer at an orphanage in Haiti. This year, Ryan is hosting a child with cancer at 4 matches through an effort called NEGU – Never Ever Give Up by the Jessie Rees Foundation. These children will join Ryan on the field pre- and post-match. This rare opportunity lifts the spirits of not only the kids but also the families affected by childhood cancer.
From our staff, Tom Jones, our VP of Complex Management has been lending his expertise to Mission of Hope Haiti to assist them with the building and management of a new soccer complex that will serve over 15,000 children per year. The organization plans to use sports as the avenue for meeting kids and creating a new paradigm for character and leadership growth as well as discipline.
Lauren Halsey, Sr. Account Manager, Business Development was a founding board member of Vogel Alcove’s Flight Young Professionals Organization. Vogel Alcove provides therapeutic services for homeless children in Dallas. Lauren has served in a number of roles with Flight YPO including President. She currently serves on the Marketing and Strategic Communications Committee for the board of Vogel Alcove. In addition, she is the Vice President of D.I.S.E. (Dallas Influencers in Sports and Entertainment) which was formerly the Heart of Dallas YPO.
These are just a few examples of our family’s good work. These past three days you might have seen these people that I’ve mentioned and many others from the FC Dallas family volunteering. Together they made 1,200 PB&J sandwiches for the Salvation Army, stocked the Frisco Family Services food pantry, and did some gardening and farm chores at Bonton Farms. What you don’t realize is that most will work six days this week, some even seven. They will carry the energy of match week until hours past the final whistle on Saturday night.