Issaquah graduate scores soccer gear for Ugandan orphans

June 21, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Thanks to the hard work of Blaire Brady, her friends and her family, two youth soccer teams in Uganda will have warm-up gear and matching uniforms.

Blaire Brady

Brady, a 2011 Issaquah High School graduate, has coordinated drives for Ugandan orphans for the past three years.

Mark Bowers, the African missions team leader at Issaquah Christian Church, contacted Issaquah High leadership teacher Emily Carl to see if any of her students could organize a drive for the church’s mission trip to Uganda.

Bowers had heard that orphans in Uganda had nary a soccer uniform.

“Their clothing is generally rags,” he said. “They do have some semi-organized soccer teams, and one of the pastors there said, ‘We would love to have any equipment you have, even if it’s torn up.’”

Brady, then a sophomore, volunteered to help.

“My sister is in South Africa right now working at an orphanage and I just wanted to get involved,” she said.

Each year since then, Brady has organized an annual drive, asking her classmates and teammates to donate their old soccer uniforms to the orphans in Uganda.

“A lot of people really wanted to do it because they all have old sports stuff,” Brady said. “I told them, ‘You get to see pictures of the kids wearing it and see how touching it is.’”

This year, she collected about 200 pounds of soccer uniforms.

Members of the African Missions Team at Issaquah Christian Church packed the uniforms, along with medical supplies and personal sundries, into boxes on June 19.

Brady plans to attend Idaho State University in the fall. She said she hopes to visit the orphanage in Uganda and meet the children playing in Issaquah’s donated soccer uniforms.

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or lgeggel@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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