A ball can change a life

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Mike Walter talks with Garrett and Kira Weiss and Austin Gutwein about how their love of sports sparked a desire to help those a world away. Mike Walter talks with Garrett and Kira Weiss and Austin Gutwein about how their love of sports sparked a desire to help those a world away.

Sporting events like the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon tennis, and the NFL’s Super Bowl have the unique ability to appeal to sports fans of all ages in every corner of the world. But for some young people, sports not only captivate them, it also inspires them.

At the age of 15, while sitting in the stands of a FIFA World Cup tournament, Garrett Weiss realized the power soccer held for those living in the African country of Angola.  That’s when Garrett, along with his brother Kyle, created FUNDaFIELD.

A ball can change a life

A ball can change a life

At the age of 15, while sitting in the stands of a FIFA World Cup tournament, Garrett Weiss realized the power soccer held for those living in the African country of Angola. That’s when Garrett, along with his brother Kyle, created FUNDaFIELD.

 

“We came back home and we talked with some of our best friends and we were kinda naive, but we said, ‘If they don’t have soccer fields, it doesn’t matter if they don’t have uniforms,’” explained Garrett.  “So let’s build soccer fields.”

FUNDaField is a student-run organization that works with local communities to build soccer fields, provide soccer equipment and host soccer tournaments to help rehabilitate post-trauma and post-conflict regions around the world.

Their younger sister Kira also helps with fundraising initiatives to increase donations. To date, the group has raised more than $250,000.

And it was at the age of nine when Austin Gutwein created Hoops of Hope, the largest basketball shoot-a-thon in the world. The global event raises money to support children orphaned by the AIDS virus, helping to build homes and schools, and supply medical resources for these children. Since its inception, Hoops of Hope has grown to an estimated 40,000 participants across 25 countries, raising more than $3 million dollars for AIDS orphans in Africa.

“You can absolutely use your passion for soccer, your passion for basketball to change lives half way around the world,” said Austin.

Garrett and Kira Weiss joined Austin Gutwein to talk with Mike Walter in Los Angeles about how a ball can change someone’s life, who is a world away.