Today’s blog was written by PPI grassroots supporter Daniel Shane.
In 2010, I discovered PeacePlayers online while searching for a project for my Bar Mitzvah. PeacePlayers felt like such a good fit for me because it combined two things that I care about deeply: basketball and making a difference. As a result of the support I received from friends and family, I was able to send a lot of basketballs and supplies over to Israel to support the Middle East program. PeacePlayers had also partnered me with one Jewish girl, one Christian boy, and one Muslim boy who participated in the program and who I was in touch with via email from Toronto. Then in March 2011, I traveled to Israel with my family where I was able to play with one of the teams and have dinner with the family of one of the boys I had been emailing.
After my visit to Israel, I became very busy with high school activities, and I stopped working with PeacePlayers. However, in April 2013, I fractured one of the vertebrae in my back and was told that I would not be able to play sports for over a year. In addition to doing some basketball coaching on my own, I decided to spend some of the time that I would have normally been playing basketball to rekindle my relationship with PeacePlayers and the work that they do.
I decided to run a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament at my school for kids in Grades 7-8 and 10-11. I spent several months driving around the city of Toronto, collecting donations and prizes as well as handing out flyers at different basketball arenas and various schools. The tournament took place on April 13th at a venue with 6 nets. I got together teams from schools all over the city and raised close to $2,000 Canadian dollars (over $1,800 in the United States).
I have seen firsthand how PeacePlayers is making a difference in the lives of children from all religious and ethnic backgrounds around the world, which is why I am glad I was able to help them by raising money.