It's been a great run!!! But the drive is now done!
The Josh Rojas Used Soccer Equipment Drive ran from May, 2006 until June, 2016. It was created by Katrina Rojas the year after Joshua passed away. Both Katrina and Josh played in the travel program for Irondequoit Soccer Club near Rochester, NY. Joshua was actually at travel practice when he passed away on the field in April, 2005.
To say that the game of soccer was important to our family would be a huge understatement. Not only did the beautiful game give us years of fun, sportsmanship, and challenge, it also helped us to continue to function as a family in the days/months right after Josh's death. We didn't go on vacations; we went to travel tournaments every summer instead, with Pat coaching and Katrina playing for nearly her entire life thus far. We wouldn't change a moment of it. The support from this community helped sustain us in our darkest hours.
Katrina is now grown and lives across the country in Tacoma, Washington, but soccer remains a family bonding experience even now. We have been known to drive more than 22 hours just to see the US Women's Soccer team play a World Cup game in Winipeg, Manitoba. Now that Katrina has moved away, we felt that it was time to bring the drive to its natural end.
On July 1, 2016 we donated the rest of our donations again to the ROC E6 summer camp/program and to the PUC Achieve Charter School in Rochester, NY. This camp holds a special place in our hearts because Arkee Allen was Josh's pee-wee wrestling coach and Katrina's mentor over the years. Thanks to this amazing community's generosity, we donated approximately 70 soccer balls; 250 soccer jerseys/T-shirts/polos; 50 pairs soccer shorts; 150 pairs of soccer socks; 10 pairs of shin guards; 50 pairs of soccer cleats; 6 backpacks; 20 sweatshirts; and a few pieces of LAX equipment, as well.
From 2006 - 2016 this drive allowed us to donate literally thousands of dollars worth of equipment all around the world and right here in our own neighborhood. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR ALL OF THE SUPPORT!
Information about past donations:
In the Fall of 2006, over $5000 of soccer equipment was donated to a program for under-privileged children in Paranoa, Brazil. This after-school program focuses on single-parent families who are looking for guidance for their impressionable children, and is sponsored and maintained by local firemen and women who teach the children the importance of self-respect and discipline. The donation was personally delivered by Joshua’s Aunt Gladys, who was living in Brazil at the time.
In the Summer of 2007, over $1300 of equipment was donated to Rochester’s East High School for their new modified soccer program. Also, over $4400 of soccer equipment was donated to the ROC E6 Summer Program. ROC E6 sponsors a summer camp for inner-city Rochester children. At the camp the children are tutored in math, English language arts, and ethics. They also teach the children lacrosse, soccer, wrestling, and various other sports. Katrina enjoyed working and volunteering at the camp during her high school years.
Our 2008/2009 equipment drives were also very successful. Thanks to our community's generosity, we donated more than $5,700 of soccer equipment to four organizations/facilities. The donations included 35 soccer balls and ball pump to the Kick For Nick. Also, we sent several boxes of soccer equipment to a soccer team in the Philippines, a training centre in Rwanda, and to the organization, Beanies for Baghdad.
In April 2011, another donation was sent to Hogar de Ninos Enmanuel in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This wonderful and worthy orphanage is the haven for many children ages newborn-18. Thanks to our community's support, they received more than 30 soccer uniforms, 15 soccer balls, 2 ball pumps, 40 pairs of socks, several backpacks, adult coaching shirts, shin guards, and 40 pairs of soccer cleats. Special thanks to Ms. Lauren Farrell from Irondequoit for facilitating this donation and to Mr. Mike Garciga and Victory Export USA in Miami Florida for assisting in this shipment.
In August 2013, we donated nearly $700 worth of apparel and equipment to the ROC E6 Lacrosse Program and over $1700 worth of apparel and equipment to the University Preparatory Charter School. Both of these organizations are in Rochester, NY.