Jackie Hemp, a member of the Richmond Strikers 2000 Elite Girls Team and a sophomore in Freeman's Leadership Center, took the initiative to make Christmas a little brighter for the residential students at UMFS this year. The Strikers have an ongoing community partnership with UMFS, and Jackie spent time at the UMFS campus as a volunteer for the Strikers Orange Day in November.
Inspired by the staff at UMFS, Jackie heard about the students' growing interest in soccer and decided to take action. She explained, "When I was helping put up Christmas lights at UMFS, I heard that the kids were enjoying their monthly Strikers [soccer] clinics, and they were going to ask for soccer balls for Christmas." Jackie left UMFS with an idea, and contacted the UMFS staff to put it into action. "I thought it would be nice if every child got a soccer ball, instead of just a few, which got me thinking about whether I could make that happen. I hope receiving a new soccer ball will help brighten their holiday."
Jackie provided a wrapped, personalized gift of a brand new soccer ball for each of the 37 residential students at UMFS to receive on Christmas day. She gathered her family and friends to help purchase, wrap, and decorate the gifts. Her initiative and generosity are inspiring, and we love that she's spreading the gift of soccer!