10-Year-Old Creates Charity Providing Soccer Balls Around The Wo - KMSP-TV

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10-Year-Old Creates Charity Providing Soccer Balls Around The World

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It's called the beautiful game for a reason.

A ten-year-old boy decides he wants kids around the world to be able to play soccer.

The ball starts rolling from there, and the charity ball organization is founded.

"When the ball is on the ground and everyone is playing, it doesn't matter where you are at, as long as you are having fun," explains Ethan King.

A big heart and a love of the game is all it took for one 10-year-old boy from Michigan to start an international organization.

After helping his father provide clean water in Mozambique, Ethan King realized there was another need for kids in Africa. 

"I brought along my soccer ball, and I was going to be playing with some kids in the villages, wanted to get some pickup games going.  I set it down, I had like five kids playing with me, and the next thing I know, 50 kids are playing and there was dust flying everywhere," said Ethan, "but when I looked over and saw the balls the kids were used to using was like trash bags wrapped up with twine."

King started "Charity Ball."

Now four years later, 4,000 quality soccer balls have been hand delivered to kids in 22.

"I felt something in my heart as well, like I was being called to do this," Ethan recalled.

Ethan started making calls asking for help.

The first person actually said 'no.'

"I guess I used that as motivation to keep working hard and just to call more people and I guess for every 10 "yeses", there are one or two "no's," and so I said I'll just keep working hard and keep calling people and eventually money came in and the first 100 balls went to Africa. But then I got a bunch of people saying hey I'm going to this country, I'm going to that country, and I'd like to take some balls along,'' he said.

Neven Subotic, a pro player in Germany, heard about charity ball and reached out to Ethan.

Together they started the "Play Well Cup."

"Within a week, we had 300 kids signed up, which is about 12 teams and so we kind of set it up like a World Cup where there is a group phase and a knockout phase.  We hand delivered all the kids at the final game. There were closing ceremonies and it was an awesome experience. Once in a lifetime for me and for all the kids," said Ethan.

And to boost the charity's recognition, a documentary called "Pass the Ball" was made.

"The stuff that I was doing when I was ten to fifteen years old was not starting charities so he's just doing such amazing stuff, super selfless, and they're just such great people and there are really trying to get out there that is more about just doing great for the world," said Dan Covert, the creative director of "Pass The Ball."

You can go to charityball.org to make a donation.

The U.S. faces Ghana in its first world cup match on Monday.

 
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