Written by: James Jones
Working with kids for two years has really shaped me. Before my time here at Enderly Coffee, I spent my time working with elementary school kids in a local school on social and emotional development.
So once I stopped to work in coffee, naturally I really started to miss my boys. I brainstormed ways to stay connected. Id spend time picking a few up at a time and taking them to Blaze and Ritas. I kept in touch with parents as much as I could. After some time, I started a basketball team right up the street at the Bette Rae Center. It was made up of some kids from the neighborhood, but not first without personal invites to each of my boys from the after school program.
After the short season ended, I realized that time together was special and I was on to something. We all have the need to stay connected and this grew within me, so I decided to start a skills and mentoring camp with the same group of my boys. The camp’s purpose was to enhance the kid’s basketball skills, but also spend time mentoring them to become social and emotional warriors.
During the camp I had the opportunity to take a trip to Guatemala with my boss, Tony. While there, we got to tour a small village on the outskirts of Guatemala City, called Bueno Vista. While there we connected with the son of the Leivas family (which is the family we buy one of our Guatemalan from, also one of our reasons for this trip was to visit and meet the Leivas parents Norma and Armando).
We started the day by going to visit this beautiful school in a village. In Guatemala the villages are like the ghettos of America. After visiting the school we hiked through this village. I mean we literally hiked up steep hills. We arrived at these beautiful gates. We knocked and a guy came to the gates and let us in. That led us to this beautiful green soccer complex, the Bueno Vista Soccer Academy. There was beautiful and well kept turf, all the training equipment I could dream of, and even two basketball goals. This was all in the middle of poverty that I have never seen or experienced before in my life. This is where we met Mynor Leivas and he explained to me how they not only worked with the boys in the village to grow them as young men, but also helped lead them in the right direction and at the same time play soccer. Meeting the staff and the boys were my favorite part of the Guatemala trip.
That whole experience inspired me to want to turn my Dream Skills & Mentorship Camp into a legitimate 501c3. Donating and supporting the camp will allow me to do things for these boys that I wish I had growing up. Pick up your bag here.
In partnership with DREAM, proceeds from this bag will be going to the start up of Charlotte’s one and only Social and Emotional Basketball Camp/Organization.
This will include funding our 501c3 filing, as well as supporting the cost for the children to participate.
Buy your bags today online or come by the store to pick them up!