TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues recently donated a large cache of soccer balls, t-shirts and assorted equipment to GRODYSH International and the Future of Haiti Orphanage to help with the creation of a soccer competition between orphanages in Haiti. USL Technical Director Peter Mellor, who recently became acquanted with GRODYSH International President Claude Reginald Jean and Vice President Leslie Hobbs, presented the pair who have dedicated their lives to orphaned Haitian children with enough equipment to fill a minivan.
All told the haul included more than 150 used Umbro soccer balls, more than 400 new USL t-shirts, as well as water bottles and other items.
“I feel privileged to be able to make this donation on USL’s behalf, and I’m just happy that the equipment will go to an organization devoted to helping children,” Mellor said. “If this donation can help bring a smile to the face of even one child at the orphanage then it is more than worthwhile.”
Jean, who had been involved in many humanitarian activities with members of his family, decided to assemble a group of ethical young people, and officially launch GRODYSH in 2000 to address the problems he observed in Haiti. GRODYSH activities include reforestation, distribution of tools, seeds and fertilizer for planting crops, soil conservation, protection of the environment, providing education for those who cannot afford it, trade studies, life improvement seminars, seminars on administrative tools, supporting orphanages to provide shelter for orphans and kids living on the street, low-cost or free health centers, food distribution, a credit union and other community activities.
GRODYSH had supported hundreds of families and orphanages when on January 12, 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti. Jean started an orphanage on his property not far from the international airport Toussaint L’Ouverture in Port-au-Prince, with the support of volunteers who came to Haiti to help in the relief efforts. Because of the risk of flooding, Jean decided to move his family to the United States and turn his residence into an orphanage which he named the Future OF Haiti Orphanage (FOHO).
GRODYSH gives children of Haiti the chance to have a high-quality basic education and a high level of professional education (electrician, plumber, carpentry, etc.) to permit them to provide for their needs and their family’s needs, and to contribute to the quality of life in their region, and to the entire society.