Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
May 13

Real-life Example of Winning Hearts and Minds

Here’s a tangible example that complements yesterday’s post on the non-violent, goodwill efforts being made by our troops in Afghanistan.

My friend Sean Rohe works in Afghanistan for Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Ralph Beam. CSM Beam is fairly new to the NATO Training Mission (NTM) and a couple of months ago was touring the area. He noticed that the Afghan children play with old, beat-up, dirty soccer balls.  Sometimes a volley ball substitutes for the real thing.  

CSM Beam really wanted to do something for these kids and, through Sean, I got involved.  My good friend Maureen Pfeil and my sister Nancy Omonte mined their soccer networks and the wonderful people of the soccer world responded.  DC United sent 100 children’s t-shirts, stickers and cardboard fans shaped like soccer balls.  The Youth Soccer Club of Immokalee, Florida sent four boxes stuffed with soccer balls, air pumps, uniforms, t-shirts and shoes.  I’m especially proud of the donation from this last group because these kids come from a very underserved section of Florida and have many of the same needs as the children in Afghanistan.  For them to give so generously speaks volumes. 

The Afghan children are going to love everything that was sent out and will use every last fan, t-shirt, fan. soccer ball, pair of shorts and other clothing.  Some day, these kids will be their country’s leaders.  And they’ll remember the people who gave them these items.  But for right now, I’m just touched by a couple of Army soldiers thinking of ways to improve the lives of little kids in a far-off land.

csm-views-training Army CSM Ralph Beam (right) of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan is collecting soccer balls and equipment to share with Afghan kids.   A super generous idea and if any readers would like to donate to this cause, please reach out to me via the comment section.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide