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Small but Significant: Helping Orphans South of the Border
For those of you who sometimes get a feeling that you should be contributing more to charity, giving back to the community, or supporting non-profits but tend to justify the lack of involvement with the age-old age old excuse of what can just one person do, you may be inspired by this small non-profit from San Diego, California.
The Sidelines Club is an organization founded by a former baseball player and enthusiast who volunteers his expertise for helping local underprivileged athletes. Members of the organization help aspiring students to achieve their dreams by providing scholarships, equipment, and free sporting clinics. The organization is very small in size, but that does not stop them from reaching out beyond Southern California to Mexico and even as far as Haiti. For several years now, Sidelines Club has been sending delegations of volunteers to countries where help is most needed.
One of the recent aid efforts of this small but dedicated organization was to Ciudad de Refugio, Mexico, last December, when a group of inspired volunteers delivered hundreds of pounds of rice, beans, flour and frozen meat along with other supplies to the The City of Refuge Orphanage. Faithful to their mission of promoting sports, the delegation organized a soccer tournament for the 40 children, which, being a hugely popular sport in the country, turned out to be a big hit. Last fall a group of volunteers visited another orphanage in Espwa, Haiti (the name translates to the Village of Hope), where soccer was yet again the sport of choice for the children, serving as a bond between the volunteers and the locals.
At Global Basecamps, we believe that traveling is in its most enriching and rewarding when you stay away from excluded resorts and boldly explore neighborhoods unpopulated by tourists and engage with the locals, the underlying idea behind sustainable tourism. Doing something small for struggling communities on your travels can then be tremendously valuable, and the Sidelines Club is a great example of a volunteer effort that also offers the volunteer himself an life-changing travel experience.