They say that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we’ll be in places we’ve never been and meet people we never intended to meet. This is usually how we encounter our most memorable experiences. This is exactly what happened to Jose Daniel, Manufacturing Engineering manager, when he was introduced to the Haitian Amputee Soccer Team.
The Haitian Amputee Soccer Team, ranked No. 7 in the world, was traveling through the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area on its way back from Irvine, California, after defeating the USA National Team in an invitational tournament when Jose was introduced to the team by a mutual friend. Many of the team members are miraculous survivors of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, which killed up to 300,000 of their countrymen.
“I felt like I met these young men for a reason and I had to get involved,” said Jose.
Over the course of two weeks, Jose and a team of Lockheed Martin volunteers worked with local soccer clubs to organize four soccer games from Aug. 10-15 in the DFW area to help raise funds for their prosthetic limbs, travel expenses and to raise awareness.
Chester Burge, F-35 International Manufacturing Engineer, talks about what pushed him to volunteer on such short notice:
“I know in America, many folks with special abilities have obstacles to overcome and I understand in Haiti it would be even more difficult. These guys are winners, overcomers, and champions at heart. We should look for opportunities to help, encourage and support folks and groups such as this.”
While in the local area, four of the team members will be fitted with prosthetic legs by local resident Tim Goldberg. (is he a doctor)? These efforts are funded a local nonprofit, Operation Go Quickly.
Jose learned that Operation Go Quickly has been instrumental in its support for the Haitian soccer team. A Fort Worth-based community non-profit organization serving people with disabilities in the less economically developed countries worldwide. In addition to recruiting volunteers to help with the games, Jose worked with the LM AERO Club to have Operation Go Quickly added to the list of charities that employees can support through LM AERO Club donations.
For further information on the soccer event or to volunteer, contact Jose Daniel. If you’d like to support this organization, you can give through the LM AERO Club.