Players from DIRECTV North East Stars paid a visit to Sangre Grande orphanage, Casa de Corazon, to bring inspiration to the children living there.
The players were welcomed by the managers husband, Mr Bunny Crownberg and the staff at the home, together with the children aged between 3-16.
The players spent time chatting to the children and answering questions about the life of a footballer. North East midfielder, Carey Harris said " Its great for us to do visits like this in our community." Harris, who lives in Arima added " These events are always a benefit to us footballers as well. You always come away realising how lucky you are never having to live through this kind of adversity"
North East Stars Community Events Manager, Khaty Martin-Jones said " As a resident of Sangre Grande, it makes me so proud to be associated with North East Stars. These visits really show how a football club can benefit a community.
I have been very keen to bring the guys to Casa de Corazon because I read how these children gave away some of their christmas presents to other less fortunate children. How amazing is that? These children have been abandoned by their parents, yet they still feel more fortunate than others. It brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to personally show them how proud we at North East Stars are to have them in our community.'
Accompanying Harris were three 21 year old players, Ronaldo Alexander, Jeromie Williams and Philip Deverteil. "I guess we sometimes take so much for granted" said Williams, a first team regular for the Stars this season.
"Some of these kids are only a few years younger than us, yet their lives could not be more different." Alexander agreed " As footballers, we are fortunate to have a support system around us to keep us on the right track.
Who will these children have as role models?" Deverteil said "Its impossible to imagine what it would be like to be abandoned by your parents, yet the children here are so happy. The staff here do a superb job and its apparent from the relationship between the staff and the children that there is so much love here."
Following on from the visit, North East Stars C.E.O., Brent Sancho pledged "We will continue to build the relationship between the orphanage and the club. We will be offering them V.I.P. treatment at our home matches and we will return to the home to read them a story written by myself and Operations Director, Kevin Harrison. They look like a tough audience, but I'm sure they'll enjoy it" he laughed.
The visit was part of North East Stars contribution to the Pro Leagues Digicel HOPE project, which encourages clubs to interact more with their communities. Harrison said " We were already commited to develop our community status, by the HOPE project has given us a greater incentive. The HOPE project is a fantastic concept by Digicel and Dexter Skeene and we will continue to give it the support it deserves."