Jan 16, 2013 11:59 PM
TUCSON - Thousands of kids from all over the country are headed for Tucson this weekend for the Fort Lowell Shootout. This is a great opportunity for one of Kristi's Kids, 14 year-old Payton Rudnick, to Pay it Forward.
Payton loves the game of soccer. Last year for his Bar Mitzvah, he needed a service project.
"I wanted a way so children could give back to other kids without asking their parents for money," explains Payton.
Payton knew right away what to do. He would use his passion for the world's most popular sport to score with kids all over the world.
He dribbled around the World Wide Web and found Peace Passers, an organization which provides soccer gear to kids in the world's poorest places. It was the perfect match!
"I collect soccer balls and jerseys, new or old, and I donate it to kids around the world."
Payton set up Givethroughsoccer.com. He also sets up a tent at events seeking help from the community. This is where young players can drop off jerseys they've out grown or from teams they don't play on any longer.
"I've collected 426 soccer balls, 727 jerseys and over $3000."
"We are just so proud, that we are able to provide the mechanism, so that Payton can take this and Pay it Forward," says Diana Cannon, Tournament Director/Tucson Association of Realtors/Ft. Lowell Shootout.
Look for Payton's tent at the Shootout this weekend and you can help! Just buy a soccer ball to donate.
"And I let them sign it so hopefully when kids get it down where ever it's being sent, it will say little message like some of them say, SCORE A GOAL or HAVE FUN."
It's all about sharing Payton tells Kristi's Kids and he's simply grateful.
"I'm so fortunate to have what I have. And to help others to have what they want to have, even if it's just a soccer ball to bring joy to someone else's life, I think that's paying forward."
If you miss a shot to donate at the Shootout, you can drop off soccer gear at any Play it Again Sports through January.