With the holidays just around the corner, Bethlehem Steel FC assisted in bringing holiday cheer to those in need by teaming up with New Bethany Ministries for a soccer and toy drive.
After accepting collections for the past few weeks at various locations throughout the Lehigh Valley, it all came to an end on Monday, Dec. 19.
In the short amount of time that the drive took place, Steel FC and its supporters collected well over 100 items that were going to make their ways into the arms of children across the area.
Items donated included the basic essentials for inspiring soccer players including new soccer balls, cleats, shin guards and goalkeeper gloves.
Aside from the soccer gear, some lucky children will receive toys including a Nintendo Wii that was donated by Revolutions.
"Every child deserves having something under the Christmas tree during the holidays, regardless of their circumstances," Steel FC Director of Business Operations Rich Searls said. "We're so thankful for all of the fans that donated to our cause to bring a Merry Christmas to children throughout the Lehigh Valley. We can only hope that these gifts can help inspire the next generation of great soccer players."
During the wrapping event that took place at Revolutions, members of the Steel FC front office were joined by goalkeeper Matthew Perrella. Still a new member of the squad, Perrella found it important to make time during his own holidays to give back to the community.
"No child shouldn't have a gift for Christmas," Perrella said. "I'm lucky that I get to play soccer for a living and I've had a ball under my feet since I was a child. It's amazing what a simple act of kindness can do to someone and I'm honored that I got to help out in the community."
During the wrapping party that took place on Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Steel FC staff came together to help those in need and even showed off their wrapping skills of all levels.
After hours of wrapping the presents in preparation for their delivery to New Bethany Ministries, the team gathered together to show off their crafty skills and the vast amount of gifts that were donated to the cause.
After getting wrapped up the previous day, the gifts made their way to New Bethany Ministries where they will be sorted and handed out over the next few days as Christmas approaches this weekend.
“We are so thankful to Bethlehem Steel FC for their partnership and for providing an opportunity for a joyful Christmas for our families and children this holiday season," New Bethany Ministries Director of Development and Communications Kate Cohen said.
Kids weren't the only beneficiaries of the toy drive, as the team gave each supporter that donated to the cause four free tickets to a 2017 Steel FC home match.