Tulsa Youth Soccer Team Raises $10,000 For Orphanage
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa soccer team gave their beloved coach a very special gift this holiday season: they raised thousands of dollars for an organization near and dear to their coach's heart.
Jesse Williams said he was in total shock when he realized his soccer team of 11-year-old girls was about to do something big.
"Before you knew it, I lost it," Williams said.
It happened at the team's Christmas party.
"A lot of the girls are like, 'You better come! You better come!'" he said. "But I have no idea the surprise, or what they did. I just walked in there, a sitting duck.
The girls put together a video for their coach, showing them donating clothes, and petitioning businesses for donations.
"In my mind, I was thinking, 'Hey, if they can send maybe $500, $300... I'll be so happy to take that,'" Williams said.
He said when they turned the check around and told him they'd raised $10,000 for the Rafiki Foundation, he couldn't believe his eyes.
"I was shaking," he said. "I was emotional. I was crying on the inside. I'm like, 'Yeah, I can cry in front of these girls. I don't care!'"
"Our first goal was $5,000, and we didn't even think we were going to make that," player Drue Legan said.
The Rafiki Foundation is an orphanage organization in Nigeria where Williams volunteers when he visits home.
"I fell in love with the place," he said. "I fell in love with the kids."
He's headed back on December 22nd, just in time for Christmas--with a big check he said will go a long way.
"When you convert that money to the Nigerian currency, that would be 3.5 million naira," Williams said. "What they did is unbelievable," he continued. "For these girls to even think about those kids. To even think about the organization I love so much."
Coach Williams said this gift of $10,000 may be the *biggest* donation the Rafiki Foundation has ever received.