Former St. Catharine College soccer player Jacob Heil, along with his wife Laura, dad Chuc and brother Jody, travelled to Haiti over the Christmas holiday on a service mission to the Good Shepherd Orphanage in the town of Carrefour.
They spent time with children of all ages who were orphaned by the 2010 earthquake. In addition to the gift of time, the Heil family took along several other gifts to support the orphanage, including several St. Catharine logo soccer balls and a pump kit to keep them inflated.
Jacob spoke about the impact that something we take for granted, like a soccer ball, had on the kids in the orphanage when he presented them on Dec. 23.
"The day I brought out a shiny, colorful new ball, the young guys gasped with excitement," he said. "We proceeded to play keep-away and juggle in the orphanage compound for several hours until daylight was gone. The young children that we went to serve and hang out with, really warm up to American visitors and appreciate having someone to play and spend time with. Love and individual attention is often a gaping hole for orphans such as those we met, and something simple but so valuable that we could offer, through shared sport, games or otherwise. They had a blessed Christmas, and will have countless hours of play ahead with their new soccer balls."
Jacob is a 2010 St. Catharine College Nursing School graduate and played two seasons on the Patriot mens' soccer team under current womens' soccer coach Paul Patton.