State Stories


IHSA Soccer Players Give Back On National Senior Citizens Day

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All it takes is a little time and effort to make a difference in someone’s life.

That’s exactly what Chicago-area boys and girls soccer players from 10 different high schools did on Sunday, when they surprised a Chicago senior community with breakfast a part of the Making A Difference On AND Off The Field campaign presented by Buddy's HELPERS and the PepsiCo Showdown.

Not only did the student athletes deliver some morning goodies in honor of National Senior Citizens Day (started by Dixon HS alum President Ronald Reagan), but more importantly they spent time talking, playing games and just engaging, as time and youthful energy is always welcomed at senior citizen locations.

“It was nice to have a conversation with them, because you can make their day by having person to person contact and conversation,” said Amr Alshatnawi, a senior at Richards High School in Oak Lawn. “I met this 72-year-old gentleman, who was a South Korean Army Lt. in the Vietnam War.

“He was really interesting to talk to and learn from. He showed us his military jacket and medals, along with some cool pictures. It was really interesting.”

The boys and girls soccer players came to the Northside of Chicago for the special moment from as far northwest as Huntley, west from Oswego and the Southeast side of Chicago. Together, these soccer players wanted to bring attention to the importance of National Senior Citizens Day, which was established in honor of senior citizens in the U.S. for their positive contributions to their communities.

Faith Davies, a senior at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, played a big part in setting up the day. She recently was surprised with a new 2017 Jeep by the Making A Difference On AND Off The Field campaign. The UIC-bound goalie is not only one of the top girls soccer players in Illinois, but she also has volunteered and given back to the community in almost every way possible over the past four years.

The one thing she hadn’t done, however, was work with senior citizens.

Faith officially picked up her new Jeep last week from Zeigler Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM of Schaumburg, and one of the first things she did was load it up with breakfast food and refreshments for the senior citizens.

“I brought my friends to spend time with the seniors, and we all had a great time,” Davies said. “I think it’s cool to hear about their lives and how they see the world. It makes me feel good that I can make an impact in their day and change the way they feel if they’re having a tough day.”

Along with Glenbard East and Richards, other high schools represented included: Saint Patrick, Bulls Prep, Washington, Oswego, Huntley, Lincoln-Way West, Back of the Yards and Lake Forest Academy.

The event was a part of the Making A Difference On AND Off The Field campaign presented by Buddy’s HELPERS and the PepsiCo Showdown.

Below is media coverage from several Chicago TV stations on the event: