Montclair resident Erica Gerstman and her family came home from a recent vacation to Africaand wanted to find a way to make a difference in the lives of the children that have so much potential but have limited resources. She and her husband place a huge emphasis on teaching their two young sons to be good global citizens, and the importance of giving back. After speaking with her sons’ Montclair United soccer coach, Julio Tsasse, they decided to join forces and create KIDS IN CLEATS with the hope of helping children in Julio’s native Cameroon through the sport they all love.
More than 50 percent of children in Cameroon live below the poverty line, and 52,000 children in the country of 25 million die each year of malnutrition. KIDS IN CLEATS is hoping to make a small difference in the lives of some of these children and set them on a better path. Their mission is to develop and sustain a safe, healthy and educational community soccer program for the nation’s disadvantaged and at-risk youth. Through this soccer program, they hope to provide a safe community center that will provide mentorship, connections to resources to assist with education, food security and job training programs.
With a trip planned to Cameroon this summer to meet with existing charities in the area, KIDS IN CLEATS is currently conducting a grass roots campaign to collect materials to bring with them to help build the foundation of the program and introduce this new non-profit to the Montclair community as well as the community in Cameroon where they plan to start their program. A town-wide drive is currently taking place to collect new and used cleats, shin guards and game and training uniforms.
Items can be dropped off now through April 15th at the following locations:
Fire House #1 1 Pine Street, Montclair
Fire House #2 588 Valley Road, Montclair
Fire House # 3 151 Harrison Avenue, Montclair