One man’s trash, the saying goes, is another man’s treasure. Athletic trainer Courtney Adams put the adage into action when she traveled to Honduras for a week-long mission trip.
Adams works at Methodist Sports Medicine, the medical provider for Grand Park. Before her trip, she noticed the ever-growing collection of lost-and-found items at Grand Park.
“Kids are always leaving behind soccer balls or all sorts of things,” the 24-year-old Fishers resident said. “There’s chairs and everything because the tournaments are so big there. I knew we had this storage closet that had a whole bunch of soccer balls in it.”
Adams had planned a mission trip to three villages in Honduras through Humanity and Hope United Foundation. She sought and received permission to take soccer balls to kids residing in the villages. She then asked Grand Park Facility Operations Manager Matt Trnian if she could take the unclaimed balls in the lost-and-found. He immediately said yes.
“Grand Park sees almost 2 million visits a year. A vast majority of those people are young athletes,” Trnian said. “As you can imagine, we amass a large number of forgotten balls, bats, shin guards, umbrellas, chairs, you name it. We save these items and, after a period of time, donate them to local charities. When Courtney came to us with her idea to take the soccer balls to kids in Honduras, we were thrilled. It was the perfect opportunity to take these forgotten items and give them new meaning.”
Adams deflated the soccer balls to pack them, and brought along pumps to refill them in Honduras.
First, Adams and her group of 17 volunteers traveled to La Cuchilla. They then visited La Coroza and Remolino. But Adams and her team did more than distribute soccer balls.
Humanity and Hope’s mission is to work hand-in-hand with the residents to get clean water, create jobs and establish access to education. The foundation empowers people to become self-sustainable. Humanity and Hope organizes approximately 10 trips a year.
“In each village, we would start by visiting each project that Humanity and Hope helped create,” Adams said. “These projects helped create jobs for the women and men in the villages who might not have had jobs before this opportunity.”
In addition, the team painted several buildings, helped pick pineapples at a project plantation, visited schools in the village and spent time with children by playing soccer with the donated balls.
Adams was thrilled to distribute soccer balls from Grand Park.
“It was amazing to see how something so simple could bring them so much happiness, and I am very grateful to have had the pleasure of doing that thanks to Grand Park’s generosity,” she said.
Adams said the most important work she and her team accomplished was establishing relationships with village residents.
“We were then able to show them that we cared about their needs and wants and were able to see how we could better serve them or work together as a team,” she said.
During her trip, Adams came across a project called the Grand Farm, where workers use a horse to move resources and plantains. Adams noticed the need for a second horse. Upon returning to the U.S., she and her group donated money to purchase asecond horse. Humanity and Hope is working on a project to purchase the Grand Farm to provide jobs to men and women.
To donate, visit humanityandhope.org/grand-farm-fundraiser.
Although Adams took several mission trips to Mexico with her church and her family when she was younger, she said the Honduras trip was unlike any other. She is working with Grand Park to donated items on a future trip.
For more, visit humanityandhope.org.
Discovering Humanity and Hope
Methodist Sports Medicine employee Courtney Adams discovered Humanity and Hope United Foundation and the Honduras mission trip in an unconventional way – through watching the popular television show “The Bachelor.”
Adams calls the show her guilty-pleasure show.
“On the show, (bachelor) Ben Higgins always spoke of Humanity and Hope, and I remember that the foundation was based in Warsaw, Indiana,” she said. “I reached out to them for more information and then set up a conversation over the phone with one of their board members.”
Within a week of her phone conversation, Adams signed up for the mission trip.