The soccer camps and clinics organized by North Carolina based Kicking4Hunger (K4H) are similar to any other camp except, when it comes to registering for a spot. Instead of asking for cash, attendees are asked to come to camp with one can of food for each day they attend!
That's because unlike other camps, its organizers are not doing this for money, but because they want every child to have the opportunity to learn the game and if possible, help their community in the fight against hunger. And, it gets better - K4H was not founded by a rich philanthropist trying to give back, but high school student, Gabriel Whaley.
It all began as a summer project in 2006. Gabriel, then a high-school junior in Jacksonville, N. Carolina was looking for a way to pass his time and decided to organize a soccer camp. Wanting to include as many young kids as he could, he elected not to charge them, but instead asked them to bring some non-perishable food - If, they could.
The three-day camp session, which attracted over 80 kids was so successful and received so much support from the local community, that Gabriel had no choice but to keep it going - And, K4H was born.
Today, the summer sessions, which last for 3-days each and the one-day clinics (during the school year) have become family affairs - Run by the now 20-year old Gabriel and his younger brother Gideon. However, while things are going extremely well, the brothers are not satisfied - By 2013 they want to try get volunteers to organize K4H camps all over North Carolina. The following year, they want to expand it nationally and then in 2014 - globally!