ST. LOUIS, Mo – The SLSG MO ECNL program continues to give back each and every year with its involvement and service within the community. Led by the senior class, the group planned out different programs and organizations to help throughout the three phases of the season.
“It’s always a refreshing break in the calendar, when our groups can step away from the soccer field and feel good about helping others who may not be as fortunate as ourselves,” said ECNL Director Ralph Richards. “From fundraising, to making blankets, adopting a family for Christmas, helping out at St. Louis Food Outreach, or simply playing with the kids at SPENSA; it is very rewarding and humbling to see our young ladies giving back to their community.”
In phase one, the oldest three age groups enjoyed a morning with the participants at SPENSA. “It’s a great thing to see how much enjoyment these kids have playing with the volunteers,” said Gracie English, a member of the U16 team. “You can really see the kids being themselves, which creates a fun morning for everyone involved.”
“Traditionally, we have always supported SPENSA,” said ECNL Goalkeeper coach. “No matter if it’s the men’s players at Webster University, or high school girls, everyone who takes part always has a smile on their face at the end of the session.” He elaborated more on the benefits for everyone involved “It is truly a great experience for both the players and coaches, one that the entire group enjoys taking part in.”
In the winter, phase two, there were two community outreach initiatives in motion. The 06 ECNL group adopted a family for Christmas. Click here to read more
The second initiative was new for the program and decided upon by a member of the senior class, Blythe Beldner. Blythe, will be playing at the University of Missouri this fall. “Raising awareness to help prevent cancer is the first steps,” said Blythe. “The second step is giving all women the opportunity to get screened for breast cancer.” She continued to say, “This event taught the group how important and real this issue is and how routine checks can save women’s lives.”
In the spring the younger groups were out and about in the community. Once again, the girls worked with the younger participants at SPENSA and returned to one of last year’s organizations, the St. Louis Food Outreach.
“I think one of the things I’m most proud of regarding Ralph and the ECNL Program is the commitment all have shown to do give back to the community,” said Scott McDoniel Missouri Girls Director of Coaching. “The thoughtful planning and preparation by the seniors; the work the girls, their parents, and Ralph have done for the community over the past two years has made a difference in the lives of others and I think it’s one of the most important things the ECNL Program does off the field.”
Scott continued to encourage others to do more, “I believe that all of the players in our club should be invested in giving back to the community in one way or another, not just to uphold our clubs Mission, but also because it builds upon the values that each person already use as their foundation and gives our players added purpose to their soccer experience.”