Military vet’s dream lives as students kick donation drive into high gear


The boy’s soccer team at Benjamin Franklin Middle School is supporting the Kick for Nick Foundation by collecting new and gently used soccer balls to send to the foundation for distribution to U.S. military installations around the world.

In July 2006, Pvt. Nicholas Madaras birthed the idea to donate soccer balls, after completing one of his tours in Iraq. Madaras hoped to round up as many soccer balls, as possible, to bring back to the children near his post.

Unfortunately, Nick was killed by an IED on Sept. 3, 2006, and was never able to distribute the balls.

Family and friends created the Kick for Nick Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization to fulfill Nick’s dream. So far more than 10,000 soccer balls have been donated and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Once the guys saw the video about this project on the Kick for Nick website, they were all on board,” said coach Tito Salas. “Now it’s just a matter of collecting the soccer balls and mailing them off.”

Franklin has recently become an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school. International-mindedness, as well as action and service, are shared values of the IB community. As IB learners, scholars strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others.

The soccer team has built a large holding pen in one of the school’s inner courtyard to hold the donated items. Soccer balls and financial contributions to help pay for shipping will be collected at the school until Tuesday, Dec. 1.


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