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Meet Taylor and Jordyn Jackson of Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor and Jordyn Jackson.

Taylor and Jordyn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
“I’m going to sleep with my ball tonight.” When the little boy living on the remote Tahitian Island, Moorea, spoke these words, they forever changed my perspective on the impact that we have on the children we help. He was 10 years old and had never owned his own soccer ball. Not only did he not own a soccer ball, he also had no shoes and had just made his daily 2hr commit walking to the soccer center. By providing the boy with a ball, he does not have to walk barefoot for 2 hrs anymore. He can pass on positive pay it forward messages and share his ball with his 4 siblings. We realized that the work that my sister and I do can inspire children to grow their community and create an environment of positive play.

My sister, Jordyn, and I both play club soccer and have grown up in a humanitarian home where our strong dedication to helping others is what drives us. In order to fulfill our calling of serving the community, at just 10 years old, my 5-year-old sister and I founded our own non-profit charity named Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement. Together we hand deliver soccer balls to children in foster homes, underserved communities, and schools. The balls that we deliver are made out of an indestructible tire material that lasts up to 20 years and does not deflate.

Therefore, these balls are ideal for children abroad to play within the harsh conditions such as poor terrain and weather changes. Although we are young, my sister and I have been able to change the world and make an impact on the lives of those who share our love of soccer.

Has it been a smooth road?
For the most part, the process has gone fairly smooth, but delivering thousands of soccer balls involves a lot of moving parts. At first, my parents thought it would be impossible to get the soccer balls donated to us. However, I found a company that is involved in many charitable causes who loved our idea to take kids balls by hand.

After we spoke, we soon had hundreds of balls in our living room. Then, my parents couldn’t figure out how they’d be able to get balls that don’t deflate on an airline. With the help of good samaritans, we were able to live out our dream of hand gifting children in need soccer balls.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement story. Tell us more about the business.
Our non-profit charity, Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement, specializes in hand delivering soccer balls locally and around the world to children in foster care, underprivileged schools, and soccer centers in underserved communities. We travel to many countries and through the simple act of just passing a ball in a group, regardless of language, kids from all countries know exactly what to do without even saying a word. Soccer is truly a universal language that bonds people no matter their dialect.

However, as the cost to transport soccer balls began to build, Jordyn and I needed a way to help pay for our deliveries. Due to the fact that we are a non-profit, we pay the weight cost to fly the balls out of our own money which can get quite pricey. To help ease the costs, we developed a handmade jewelry line called SOAR Jewels which consists of quality, gemstone stretch bracelets. Our jewelry began selling quickly in local boutique stores and at soccer games where there is a community of people that share a passion for the work we are doing.

Kids start kicking the ball with us and suddenly, even without speaking the same language, we all know what to do. Before you know it, we start laughing, getting competitive, making friendships, and passing to each other. We see that their comfort with us and confidence picks up. Instantly, we are a united community.

In Mexico, a boy living in a foster home we went to help had spent his life in a wheelchair and couldn’t play with us, but he came to watch. When we returned the following year, we connected with the same boy. He had been receiving physical therapy since our last visit. This time, he knew who we were and felt safe enough with us to join on the soccer field with his crutches.

This story is an example of the unique way we have been able to help children through our soccer balls and positive play. Our mission is to connect with kids on an intimate level. We spend time playing with them and the balls are never shipped or dropped off. Every delivery is done by us personally. We drive hours to get to the locations we serve and stay for the day sharing simple ways to pay it forward. Sometimes we even eat the lunches they have, bonding over a shared meal.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years?  Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
Over the next 5-10 years, Soaring Samaritans will change the slightest bit as I will be graduating from high school and will be attending college. Therefore, Jordyn will be taking the reins and doing most of the work that we do alone as I wish to play Women’s Soccer in college as that is a very demanding schedule.

However, I will still be involved and will dedicate my off time to helping those in need through Soaring Samaritans as well as going on trips to hand deliver soccer balls.

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