Timbers midfielder James Marcelin helped kick off the team's Stand Together community appearances schedule for 2011 with a visit to the Portland French School (PFS) on Wednesday.
The Saint-Marc, Haiti, native stopped by the all-French-speaking school in southwest Portland to help jump-start the school's soccer ball drive for needy children in Haiti.
Marcelin, also a member of the Haiti National Team, visited classrooms and spoke to a jubilant group of 150 students in his native French as part of the school's 'Francophonie' Week, where students learn about French-speaking countries around the world.
Cameron Dimmick, a sixth-grader at PFS, began a campaign to donate 100 One World Futbol soccer balls to children in Haiti by presenting a ceremonial ball to Marcelin.
“I saw pictures on the internet of children who don’t have anything after the earthquake,” said Dimmick, referring to the disaster that struck Haiti in 2010. “But kids need to play, and they need a ball to play with.”
Marcelin was genuinely happy to support the effort to aid his homeland, which is just 14 months removed from a massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that left over one million Haitians homeless.
“This will make a lot of children happy," said Marcelin. "A ball designed to last in my country, well, that's like gold."
Following a tour of the campus with acting head of school Pierre-Ludovic Perrot, Marcelin was received in the PFS gymnasium, where, conversing with the students in only French, he answered questions and discussed life in Haiti and as a professional soccer player. He then participated in 3-on-3 matches with students using the One World Futbol soccer balls which are headed to Haiti.
About the One World Futbol Project
Launched in July 2010, the One World Futbol Project developed the One World Futbol – an ultra-durable, all-terrain ball that never deflates and plays on any surface. The company sells the One World Futbol wholesale directly to institutions and organizations, as well as to individual consumers through a “Buy One, Give One” model. For every ball bought at retail, the company is committed to donating a second ball to a community in need. The One World Futbol Project is headquartered in Napa, California. For more information about the One World Futbol Project, visit http://www.oneworldfutubol.com or follow them on on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OneWorldFutbol and Twitter at www.twitter.com/oneworldfutbol.