The LA Galaxy announced today the club and the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation will be traveling to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to deliver soccer equipment and supplies to L'Athletique d'Haiti (Athletes of Haiti) sports program, which was started by Boby Duval in 1996 and gives children from some of the poorest neighborhoods an opportunity to get off the streets, play a sport and receive a daily meal.
The humanitarian effort is being coordinated by Gloria King, Director of Community Development and the Galaxy Foundation, and Janet Sevilla, Community Development Coordinator. King, along with former Galaxy defender Tony Sanneh, will depart for Haiti on Tuesday, March 2 and return on Friday, March 5. In addition to the distribution, the Galaxy will meet and interact with local children on Wednesday, March 3, before conducting soccer clinics for the children of L'Athletique d'Haiti on Thursday, March 4.
Following January's devastating earthquake, the children did not return to L'Athletique d'Haiti for almost ten days at which time 150 of the program's participants showed up at the field with their families. Currently, L'Athletique d'Haiti has approximately 500 displaced families living on their two fields that are being provided food, water and tents by Duval and more than 700 children returning for the soccer program each day.
"We have chosen to reach out to L'Athletique d'Haiti to make a difference in the lives of the children and families, living on their fields and participating in their programs" said King. "We hope to use our sport as a bridge to not only bring soccer equipment and supplies to L'Athletique d'Haiti, but smiles to the faces of children who have been through so much."
In addition to soccer equipment, the Galaxy Foundation is donating food, soap, coolers and other items that are needed throughout Haiti. Sanneh and The Sanneh Foundation's contribution also includes soccer balls, t-shirts, shorts and cleats. Galaxy and MLS partners are teaming up to provide additional support for the visit with adidas and Kwik Goal giving soccer bags, ball pumps and other items, MLS W.O.R.K.S., the league's community outreach initiative, donating t-shirts and Degree Men, a Unilever brand, providing more than 3,000 deodorant sticks to L'Athletique d'Haiti.
"My heart goes out to the children of Haiti," said Tony Sanneh, founder of The Sanneh Foundation. "As soon as I heard of the disaster, I knew I had to help. I am pleased the Galaxy and Galaxy Foundation invited me to be a part of their outreach efforts. My foundation and I strive to unify diverse communities through sport, and help all those in need. In Haiti, we will strive to do both."
The Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting and creating educational, health, and recreational activities and programs for children in southern California, with a specific focus on assisting underserved and at-risk youth. The Galaxy Foundation is committed to encouraging, educating, and empowering the children in the community.
For more information regarding the LA Galaxy's efforts to assist L'Athletique d'Haiti, please contact the LA Galaxy Communications department at 310-630-2200. Visit www.lathletiquedhaiti.com or www.thesannehfoundation.org for more information on these organizations.