Kid’s chapter books:build confidence

Do you love reading or writing kid’s chapter books that build confidence? It’s a wonderful thing to do because you can change lives by doing it. Ethan King is a glowing example. He started an organization called Charity Ball. I’ll bet you’re thinking he’s teaching kids to dance. But that wouldn’t be correct. Ethan’s dad repairs water wells in poor African villages. He and Ethan worked together to form the group, What does Ethan do? He raises money to buy soccer balls and hand deliver them to underdeveloped countries. If you donate $25. it will be used to buy one soccer ball. So far, Ethan has delivered about 4,000 balls to kids in Africa. But he didn’t stop there. He worked with a well-known Serbian soccer player named Neven Subotic`to hold a tournament in Mozambique. During the game, they showed a video called” Pass the Ball”, explaining what Ethan’s company does.

Ethan began promoting “Have a  Ball” 5 years ago when he was just ten years old.  He and his dad took a trip from their home in Michigan to Mozambique. His dad already knew where he’d be repairing wells so Ethan took out a soccer ball and kids seemed drawn to it. Before long, Ethan had about one hundred eager boys, anxious to play soccer. They’d never seen a real ball before. Instead, they used paper bags rolled up and tied with twine. Ethan introduced the boys to the game. When he returned home, he thought about the best way to promote soccer. He never forgot the joy on the young boys’ faces when they played together in Mozambique.

During an interview, Ethan was asked if it was hard to convince people to donate money. Ethan said that it was “harder than he thought it would be.” His first call was to someone with a shop in town. The owner said it was a nice idea but he couldn’t do it at that time.  Are you wondering why the balls are hand-delivered? Ethan explained that it’s hard to get things through customs. Besides he loves to show patrons pictures of the kids playing soccer with the balls they purchased. The smiles on their faces are priceless. Maybe someday Ethan will write kid’s chapter books about the children whose lives were changed by playing soccer.

Ethan didn’t give up on his dream of donating soccer balls to change lives. What if he’d become discouraged after the first person didn’t donate money? If you have a dream, you must work hard to pursue it. When I was a little girl my dream was to become a champion horseback rider. There were big challenges to be overcome, but I never gave up. One decision my dad made changed my life. Find out more in the first o f my award-winning kid’s chapter books, Tails of Sweetbrier, the silver medal winner in the Feathered Quill Book Awards. I loved writing kid’s chapter books so much that I wrote 3 other fictional ones: Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes.

copyright Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, 2014



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