For Olivia Post it’s usually school, charity and soccer – that’s basically her life now. And she wouldn’t want it any other way.
Olivia who will be the Wildkits girls soccer team’s starting goalie for the fourth consecutive season this spring, spent much her free time last year establishing a charity called Cents4Soccer. Olivia gathered over 600 pieces of gently used soccer gear through donations from Evanston Township High School, Glenbrook South High School, MLS Team Chicago Fire, Sockers FC, Team Evanston, friends and teammates with the hopes of bringing them to Guatemala to disperse among kids in need.
Cents4Soccer is a 501(c)3 non-profit and our goal is to help deserving youth through soccer. We help build lifelong skills, a sense of community, provide a safe structured environment, and donate soccer gear to deserving youth.
Through babysitting, Olivia earned enough money to make the trip a reality. Olivia left Evanston, Illinois for Guatemala on June 28th, stayed through July 29th and returned with another mission.
Staying in the mountains of Panajachel, which surround the world famous Lake Atitlan, Olivia spent every weekday volunteering at preschools through Mayan Families – a charity which, ‘operates a variety of programs to support and empower the Maya people of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding areas.’
Olivia helped with food deliveries to different towns, helped install water filters and with whatever or wherever she was needed. Each afternoon, she ran a soccer clinic teaching and training 60 boys and girls – the recipients of the gear donated to Cents4Soccer – ranging from ages six through 20. Despite having coached soccer to kids in elementary school at a summer camp in Lincolnwood two years prior, interacting with her ‘students’ at her soccer clinics was the most memorable part of her trip.
Olivia found the little things can make the kids so happy, like getting a pair of cleats made their day. The soccer gear was great to hand out, but Olivia learned what the kids and coaches needed more than gear was good soccer balls.
So upon her return to Evanston, Olivia spent months working with leading soccer ball designers in Pakistan to create six different colored, hand-sewn balls that meet FIFA requirements. To kick off the newly created project, Olivia created a Kickstarter campaign in conjunction with a company she created called oNe. For every soccer ball sold, oNe will match the purchase with a new one to be donated.
oNe Sports is a for-profit Benefit Corporation, started after realizing the need for affordable, high quality soccer balls. oNe Sports supports Cents4Soccer and other nonprofits through a Buy oNe, Give oNe campaign. Being a Benefit Corporation ensures oNe Sports and Cents4Soccer will put community and environment before profit.
Olivia already has plans to donate new soccer balls to a school in Haiti which was founded by the help of Evanston Township High School teachers Marx Succes and Franz Calixte, as well as Soccer Without Borders and other clubs or teams in need.
Olivia is in the process of finding a local club team to partner with Cents4Soccer to establish a sister club team in Guatemala.
“It was life-changing. I loved the experience so much, and I am planning on going back next summer – and hopefully every summer after.” – Olivia Post
2014 – Positive Coaching Alliance Triple Impact Award
2014 – YSA, Disney, ABC Networks Summer of Service Award
2014 – Nexus Youth Summit Australia – Delegate
2014 – Presidential Daily Point of Lights – Oct. 16, 2014