Emily grew up in Sammamish, Washington, a suburb just outside of Seattle. She is a sophomore at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She enjoys writing for The Dartmouth Daily Newspaper and playing on the club soccer team. She graduated from Skyline High School and played soccer, softball and skied throughout middle and high school. She loves connecting and finding common bonds with people living in completely different cultures, places and circumstances. Her favorite part of the Play It Forward process is seeing photos of the kids to whom Play It Forward reaches out.
Anna DeWeirdt, Maddie Christ and Casey Kovarik
Anna, Maddie and Casey are good friends and have played soccer on the same club team for several years. Just about the time Emily was looking for someone to take over Play It Forward at her area, along came
Anna, Maddie and Casey asking if they could get involved. The redhead, brunette and blonde trio is results driven—after discovering their soccer club was transitioning to new uniforms, they were off. The tally of their first drive: 467 uniforms + 249 socks + 20 soccer balls collected and donated to PassBack, Hearts for Zambia and Stoneflower.
Mike Lane, Corporate Relations Officer, World Vision
Mike has been Play It Forward’s number one fan. It all started with collecting a few soccer balls for World Vision. When the uniform collection idea came up, he was an invaluable mentor. Thanks to Mike, Emily was able to make connections with non-profit groups in need of uniforms, including Hearts for Zambia and the Hebron Community Projects. He also promoted Play It Forward to World Vision colleagues and distributed our backpacks among those making trips overseas. Sadly, Mike passed away a year ago leaving a legacy of kindness and smiles worldwide. He changed Emily’s life and touched the lives of so many others. Thanks Mike, this world is a better place because of you.
Nicolette is a junior at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, WA. A younger sister of one of the Arsenal '91 players, she read about Play It Forward in her area and contacted Emily about starting the program at her high school. Soon after, Nicolette got working. Painted collection boxes, announcements in the school newsletter and a presentation at an assembly got the school ready to take action: 165 uniforms collected and delivered by Eastside Catholic high school teachers to their sister school in Bamba, Kenya.
Ben attends Skyline High School and serves as the Play It Forward Project webmaster. He enjoys playing soccer and golf, and is working with Play It Forward on a uniform drive for his soccer club, which will soon be retiring its uniforms. Thanks to Ben and his creative and technical skills, we’ve been able to create a website.
Katie is a sophomore at Haverford College just outside of Philadelphia. She has a love for the sciences and has worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for the past two summers. She also has a soft spot for baking and makes killer red velvet cupcakes. Katie and Emily played club and high school soccer together and were inseparable in high school. When they got involved in high school sports, they wondered what happened to their school’s retired uniforms. So, after approaching the athletic director and their high school soccer coach, collecting retired uniforms became a reality. Katie was instrumental in putting the high school collection project in place.
ISC Arsenal ‘91 Team
Together for seven years and from eight different high schools, the Arsenal girls were best friends. In 2006, the team collected 206 soccer balls, 19 pairs of cleats and 30 uniforms. When they weren’t playing against each other in high school games, skiing in Olympic trials, running track, singing, acting, playing lacrosse, Greek dancing, cheerleading, paraglide training and volunteering for AmeriCorps, they helped lead soccer ball drives. They donated their uniforms twice along with personal notes about themselves and their team. Though the girls are now off to college, they get together as a team over the holidays and during the summer.
Scott read about Play It Forward in a Seattle Times article. He contacted Emily and started a soccer ball drive. He found an organization that could transport the soccer balls to Uganda and didn’t stop there — he collected donations and connected with a retailer that sold him soccer balls for $4.00 each. His results speak for themselves: 503 soccer balls sent to Uganda.
Be the next partner in starting a Play It Forward Program in your neighborhood, school or club. Whether it’s 10 soccer balls or a school’s worth of uniforms, we’d love to have you on our team.