Sunday, September 21, 2008

****Ian Bilofsky's Bar Mitzvah Project Update****

Ian Bilofsky of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania diligently collected donations for Eric's Goal for over eight months! He did an absolutely amazing job and we are very proud to be the recipients of his efforts. Imagine all of the Iraqi children who will benefit by Ian's generosity and hard work!

Ian first contacted us in January 2008. During the duration of his project, Ian communicated with us through seven e-mails as well as written notes in the boxes he sent. During May 2008 Ian's Mom sent five e-mails while Ian recovered from an Appendectomy! Nothing holds Ian Bilofsky down! He was back on his feet again very quickly and continued with his project as well as school and other responsibilities! As all of you who have organized a drive for Eric's Goal know, it is a lot of work. What an amazing young man Ian is, to continue his project for such an extended period.

In "How to Choose a Mitzvah Project for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah" article by Naomi Eisenberger, found on web site, Ms. Eisenberger advises young people on choosing their own project and on the results they will achieve. Two statements were especially applicable to Ian and his project. The first, "...many more people can benefit from our happiness and joy." The second, " will see how many other people's lives have been changed because you cared and you care."

Ian exudes happiness and joy and thousands of children are benefiting from his efforts at this moment. Ian may not be able to see just how many people whose lives he has touched, but I hope in his heart he is rewarded with even more joy! His efforts have had a domino effect - one lead to the next, and the next, and the next!

Ian has supported our American Military men & women as well and they are very grateful, as you can see by the previous posts of e-mails and letters we have received. Ian's contributions allowed us to purchase and send 100 brand new soccer balls!!! The monetary donations also covered the postage for shipping everything he collected as well as the shipping for other soccer ball drives!

Below is the incredible tally of the totals of all items from Ian's Bilofsky's Bar Mitzvah Project for Eric's Goal:

Soccer balls: 67
Cleats/shoes: 17
Shin guards: 16
Vests: 15
Cones: 136
Net bags: 2
Cloth Bags: 8
Goalie gloves: 3 pr.
Socks: 25 pr.
Jerseys: 72
Shorts: 18
T-shirts: 72
Corner flags: 2
Medals: 39
Coaching Starter Bags: 8
Monetary Donations: $1,098.00

Thank you again Ian Bilofsky for choosing to support the children of Iraq and America's Military men and women through Eric's Goal, for your Bar Mitzvah Project. You have done and incredible job. You are a credit to your family and to America! It has been an honor to work with you!


The Staff of ERIC'S GOAL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Letters From Military Men & Women

Here are copies of two letters received this summer from troops who received soccer balls from Eric's Goal.

One group of soccer balls went to good use by our own troops!

E-Mails from U.S. Military Men & Women

Please enjoy reading the e-mails we have received from our deployed U.S. Military Men and Women who go the extra mile to make a positive difference in the lives of the Iraqi children! Our sincere thanks to all of them!

E-mail from Eric S. 9/9/08

"Thank you so much for the soccer balls and equipment. The children and their parents really appreciate every thing you have done. Watching a parent, local leader, or Soldier pass out the equipment or seeing the children playing soccer the next time we come by the village is gratifying for the Soldiers. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Every kid sees our trucks and pretty much mob us now. The Soldiers love seeing the kids smile and feel like they are positively impacting these children and hopefully making a positive lasting impression. Many parents have thanked us for making their children happier, so we just wanted to thank you. The Soldiers also like the idea of handing out soccer balls because are not replacing their government in supplying an essential services and people are not dependent on us.
Sorry for not responding sooner. I am sending more pictures. They take awhile to attach.
Eric S."

E-mail from Clay H. 9/4/08

"I would love some "Eric's Goal" soccer balls!
please add my name to the list."

And another after notifying Clay of shipment 9/11/08

"Excellent! Trudy thank you very much and i will send you pics and what not once I get them and start handing them out!
how can I tell people to make donations to you guys?
let me know.

E-mail from Marc 7/13/08

"Dear Eric's Goal: I am writing to let you know that we have received your gift of soccer balls, and have given them to the local children who were very grateful. I will get the pictures soon and send some to you.

Thank you for the generous support, Marc M."

E-mail from Scott R.

"Hello, Just want you 2 know I received the soccer balls,2x boxes awhile ago. Just handed out the last one yesterday. I work on a small base, just inside a small Iraqi community, that we even have over 50 Iraqis that work on our base here and have Iraqi contractors that come on base and work. I , myself on the other hand am a cook..... I have been blowing up 2 balls a night and then take them with me 2 work each day and handing them out. They really enjoy them, and they really appreciate them. I guess for the single guy in Iraq it, really simplifies something real important to them. Soccer is their life just like everywhere else in the world, except the USA, lol. Anyway I just wanted to thank you again for letting me pass them out, it was a real treat......they are indeed nice balls, really kewl. Ok thankz again, and I think you are doing a very nice thing, and I think it will make a difference, even if it comes down to 1 or 2 Iraqis that will grow and learn and all that other stuff, that we need to stop hate and just play soccer, lol thankz

Scott R."

E-mail from Jerry C. 6/22/08

".......The Soccer Balls and pump(very thoughtful) were a smashing Hit! God Bless you folks, God Bless you all X 10. What a great idea. Really takes the mind to a better place and time and helps the soul heal from the inside out. I can't say enough about the healing assistance of soccer balls of all things. I never would of thought of such an idea........"

E-mail from Chaplain Jonette E. 2/13/08

"Hi,........ My commander would like to make a soccer field for the people of Iraq. They plan on building the goals. They however need two nets. Can you support this request."

We did indeed support this request! Nine nets were donated by MD SoccerPlex & Discovery Sports Center and shipped out very quickly. Below is a note from this same group.

E-mail from CPT John C. 3/05/08

"Trudy, Thanks so much for your email and for being willing to help us. Those soccer balls seem insignificant when you think about them, but, here in this country, where everyday life is hard, even for the kids, it's an amazing gift that they absolutely love. There's no telling how long of an impact small gestures like that have on children, many whose parents are openly hostile to American forces. It's something that, years down the line, the kids will hopefully remember about American Soldiers, and that might just make a huge difference. Kids love "football" here, and I can't tell you how many ask us for soccer balls wherever we stop. They are in high demand, and it makes my Soldiers feel good to give back in small ways. We are an engineer company, and have some construction equipment and operators, and have had the opportunity to level out one soccer field so far, and plan for several more in the near future. If you have a group willing to donate nets, we would certainly appreciate 3-4 pairs to use on those fields we have and plan to construct. Our mechanics have welded up several soccer goals, and we have seen how much the people here appreciate gifts like that. Please let me know how I can help with the process, you can reach me at this email address. Thanks so much for the help, we really appreciate it!

Captain John C."

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Due to our recent move, we have been a bit out of touch on our blog - please excuse our neglect! However, we have been very busy and active. We will have upcoming posts to give you all information on the last six months of activity.

With great thanks to all of you, we have continued to send many soccer balls and equipment to our soldiers in Iraq for distribution to the Iraqi children. Pictures to be posted in the near future.

Below is an update of our totals since the beginning of Eric's Goal in 2005:

Soccer Balls: 4,551
Pumps: 127
Shoes: 291
Team vests: 336
Cones: 193
Net Bags: 26
Cloth Bags: 30
Gloves: 35
Socks: 462
Jerseys: 887
Jackets: 9
Shorts: 942
Pants: 13
T- shirts: 370
Corner Flags: 3
Electric Pump: 1
Trophies: 4
Kid's Soccer Kit: 1
Medals: 93
Soccer Nets: 9
Monetary Donations (used to cover purchases of soccer balls & pumps & cover postage):

We have worked with an amazing number of generous and giving people. I only wish the news media would focus on the good of so many - those who are here in the U. S. and our incredible young men and women in Iraq and elsewhere that go above and beyond their duties to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Our thanks to all of you for your work and donations. And an even bigger thank you to our troops who make the time to reach out to the Iraqi people! We are so proud of you all and honored to be working with you!!!!!!!!!